Francis Ngannou: UFC fighters ‘are losing power’ as company ‘gets stronger’

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou said he feels fighters are “losing power” as the promotion “gets stronger”.

Ngannou has been a staunch supporter of improving fighter pay in recent months, and the Cameroonian delved into the matter on Sirius XM this week.

“I’m sure over time, UFC fighters, we’re losing a lot of power,” said Ngannou, 36. “The company is getting bigger, getting stronger, and we have no power.

“We don’t have anyone there to defend us, just in the room making decisions, no one cares about the fighters even though there are around 700 fighters in the promotion […] I don’t believe they make all these decisions to harm the fighters, but sometimes they just don’t understand the fighters’ position.

“There are many things that can be changed. Fighter pay, this is a big issue that everyone is aware of, and it seems like we keep rolling around like nothing is happening. Health insurance, same problem. I would like to see some of them resolved.”

Ngannou last fought in January, when he retained the title with a decision win over former teammate Ciryl Gane, and the champion is still recovering from a knee injury he carried in that fight.

Ngannou is expected to return to the Octagon in early 2023, with a potential clash with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

When discussing fighter pay in his Sirius XM interview, “Predator” revealed his hopes that UFC athletes can have more freedom to work with sponsors going forward.

“Over time, I realized that there are many problems that can be fixed. I was getting frustrated at some point, because I feel unprotected, which is exactly the situation all fighters are in too,” Ngannou said.

“I would like the UFC to consider its position on a lot of things right now regarding fighters. Sponsorships – I think fighters should also have the right to put a sponsor on their shirt, not only for the company to make money from it. Why not? They are not making money from it.

“I understand they want to make this uniform, they want to make the sport [look] clean, I get that – or not letting any nasty sponsors or brands into the Octagon, which I really agree with that. But we must have some sort of way to verify and approve certain sponsors so you can bring a sponsor in. [the UFC] and make money from it.”

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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