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Francis Ngannou blasts UFC over restricting fighter sponsorships

Since he is on verge of making a return to the octagon, Luke Rockhold has ignited the fire again with his rants. He has been especially fuming at the UFC bonus structure, which has arguably gotten worse over the years, especially when inflation is considered.

Ahead of his UFC 278 pre-fight news conference said he is not afraid to voice these concerns.

“I’m not saying anything that’s not real,” Rockhold said. “Everything I’m saying is justified and truthful. Just because I should be in a position of power before I say this sh*t? F*ck off. I have nothing to lose. I don’t need this business. I love fighting, and I’m here to fight the best motherf*ckers, and this happens to be the place where it’s done. The company is f*cking growing, and they’re implementing other little stupid-ass bonuses – $5,000 here, $5,000 there. $50,000, man? We’ve been stuck on this motherf*cker for 20 f*cking years. I mean, back when GSP was fighting Jake (Shields), I mean, what was it? $100,000? F*cking it was growing.”

Francis Ngannou has been one of the most vocal fighters when it comes to the issue of UFC and its pay structure. But it looks like the heavyweight champion is inspired by Rockhold’s recent rant and fires off a series of tweets related to the UFC sponsorship restrictions which prevent fighters from earning a lot of money in addition to what they earn inside the cage.

Ngannou claims that fighters should be allowed to add individual sponsors on their UFC uniform, which is a similar suggestion to PFL’s current system. Before UFC's deal with Reebok in 2015, fighters were permitted to get their sponsors and wear logos and advertisements on their attire. But once the promotion’s policy related to standard uniforms became official, fighters were no longer allowed to have that additional money.

Even before the policy came into being, UFC had already instituted a sponsor tax where sponsors had to pay the promotion before reaching an agreement with the fighter. Ngannou also revealed that he was personally affected by another sponsorship restriction because UFC didn’t allow him to promote a rival brand that conflicted with the organization’s official partner.

As of now, Ngannou is in the rehabilitation process as a result of knee surgery. He is still to become a free agent by the end of the year. His priority remains to face the Gypsy King, Tyson Fury in an exhibition boxing match. But we will have to wait and see how those negotiations develop. If he agrees to return to the octagon, he might be matched up in a title unification bout.


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