Randy Couture: Francis Ngannou Can Force The Change In UFC Fighter Pay
Randy Couture, one of the MMA legends, thinks that fighters and stars like Francis Ngannou are the ones who should talk a lot more about their contracts and paydays so that they will change the system of salaries in the UFC.
Fighters’ pay, specifically in the UFC, has been a hot topic as of late. While many famous sports promotions pay 52% of the share to their fighters, UFC is sharing only 16% of the revenue.
“I think, at the end of the day, Francis is a fighter. He wants to fight,” Couture said.
“Here he is, at the top of the heap, pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in the world, certainly in the heavyweight division. I don’t think he wants to get involved in all this legal c–p, but at the end of the day, right is right, and he’s willing to stand up and use his voice. I don’t see him giving in.
“They’re gonna drag him to court and try to get him to spend as much money as they can get him to spend, and put that pressure on him that way, and get him to fold, get him to give it up and just go back to fighting. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Ngannou had some serious problems with the UFC because of his contract. He was about to leave the promotion if he lost, but Ngannou successfully defended his heavyweight belt against Gane, an undefeated French fighter.
In the first two rounds, Gane left no chances for Ngannou, and while everyone thought that time was working for Gane, Ngannou showed off his wrestling skills in the third round while catching Gane’s high kick.
Gane went for the takedown and controlled Ngannou in the crucial final round. Still, Ngannou showed the champion’s discipline, swiped him with incredible Jiu-Jitsu movement and earned the first-ever unanimous decision victory against the guy who is used to earning unanimous decision victories.
By defending his belt, defeating his former teammate, and making a statement in the UFC, he increased his power in the promotion. He earned only $600,000 for his victory while in other combat sports, like boxing, WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury earned about $27 million during his last appearance.
Ngannou has been at a standstill with the UFC because he also wants to have the option to box in his contract. The only other UFC fighter who was able to get into a boxing match was former lightweight champion Conor McGregor who faced legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“It takes guys like Francis, those top-tier guys that have the potential to make those six-figure contracts in fighting,” Couture added.
“There aren’t very many of them. But if those guys are willing to put that on the line to change the sport, and we unite as a group of fighters, and developed and demand these minimum criteria, then I think the sport changes and for the better.”