Francis Ngannou Outlines Issues With UFC Contract: ‘They Hold You Captive, You Have No Rights’

    ByRoss Markey

    Jan 25, 2022

    Recently minted undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou has outlined the firm issues with contractual obligations with the organization, which he has labelled as “one-sided” in the favor of the promotion.

    Ngannou, who competed last Saturday in the main event of UFC 270, successfully unified the heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane – handing the then-interim champion his first professional loss. 

    Upon the completion of his main event tilt with Gane last weekend, Ngannou had completed his eight-fight contractual obligations with the promotion, a contract he had penned in late 2017 following his thunderous first round knockout win over promotional-alum, Alistair Overeem. 

    However, with Saturday’s judging win, Ngannou, who could face a potentially lengthy period of the sideline in order to undergo a surgical procedure to address an ACL tear in his right knee, is now subject to a ‘champions clause’.

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    That clause will see Ngannou’s contract and matching rights with the UFC continue until December 2022, or for the period of three more fights in a year, which the promotion are obligated to offer fighters under their banner.

    Before his bout with Gane on Saturday, Ngannou confirmed that he would no longer compete for the UFC if he was offered similar terms to his existing contract. 

    As per the California State Athletic Commission, Ngannou received a disclosed fight purse of $600,000 for his victory over Gane at UFC 270

    Commenting on his contractual situation with the UFC, Ngannou insisted that the promotion offered them no rights, and described the terms as the promotion holding fighters captive.

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    “The term of the contract, everything they (the UFC) put into, they hold your like, in captivity,” Francis Ngannou told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “You can’t do anything, you have no rights. The contract is one-sided. Although you still don’t have nothing, you don’t even have health insurance. While you’re doing this, putting your body on the line to provide, to put on the show, risking everything.”

    “There’s a lot of things, man,” Francis Ngannou said. “We have no insurance, nothing, like no guarantee. Which I understand for independent contractors, but treat me as such then if I am. I mean, whether I’m going to be an employee or an independent contractor, but make it very clear in the contract.”

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    Saturday’s victory over Gane came as Ngannou’s sixth consecutively, following a string of victories against Stipe Miocic, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, and Curtis Blaydes.