Ben Rothwell Wants Francis Ngannou To Lead A Fighter’s Union

Ben Rothwell, the BKFC fighter, has picked Francis Ngannou as the ideal person to lead a fighter’s union for better pay.

Ngannou made the tough decision to leave the UFC after turning down a reported $8 million offer. The former UFC heavyweight champion was very vocal about how the contract prevented him from being an independent contractor. Subsequently, the MMA fighter was limited over how he could operate, as Ngannou’s desire to have a boxing match could not be fulfilled. Not only that, but Ngannou had demanded a representative for fighters when negotiating. That was turned down, as well as requests to have health insurance. Thereafter, Ngannou left to sign a lucrative deal with the PFL, which allowed him to box Tyson Fury. And in doing so, Ngannou earned the highest purse of his career. And it was that courage which appealed to Rothwell.

“Francis, he was up there against the giant … and he stood looking right in their face and I was like, ‘No, I’m not your prisoner,’ and he risked. He had a lot of people telling him you’re risking losing everything, and he said, ‘No, I’m betting on myself.’ It takes a man like that to do what we’re gonna need to get everybody together, and he’s proving it now.

“He’s proving that he is that. We only know what I’ll say – it doesn’t mean s***,” he said. “Francis did it. Francis had it. He was there. He was a UFC champ, had pay per view buys, he got to threatened and god knows what else, and he still walked away, bet on himself and f****** hit a grand slam. That’s the guy we need,” Rothwell

Outside of a union, the increasing number of MMA organizations may result in fighters getting paid better. The PFL’s recent acquisition of Bellator will increase the competition for the UFC, with fighters having more choice over which organizations they fight under. And if Ngannou can become a pioneer for that, it may encourage other fighters to do the same.

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