Monday, May 16, 2022

Ngannou Stands 100% Behind Jake Paul’s Calls For Better Fighter Pay

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou believes that Jake Paul’s promotion of better fighter pay is legitimate and not an act.

Ngannou is fresh off his win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in his first title defense as a UFC champion. But he is expected to miss a significant amount of time due to a lingering knee injury he suffered in his training leading up to the fight.

Ngannou has continued to push for the UFC to change its current pay scale model amidst tense contract negotiations. It remains unclear whether or not Ngannou and the UFC brass will end up coming to terms on a new deal.

One of most vocal presences in the fighter pay conversation has been Paul, who has gone at it with UFC President Dana White regarding how the promotion treats its roster. The controversial YouTuber turned boxer has previously offered to sign a one-fight deal with the UFC if the brass promises to add benefits such as long-term healthcare.

During a recent video on his YouTube channel, Ngannou addressed Paul’s comments in support of giving UFC fighters more incentives away from the cage.

“I follow all those stuff and I am aware of what’s happening,” Ngannou said. “You know Paul has his own way of communicating, which is a little bit different. Maybe not the same way as I will. But in the meantime, I can’t blame him. I’m 100 percent with him for what he says.

“When he claimed for fighter healthcare, I am 100 percent down with that. He claimed for fighter pay increase, I’m a 1000 percent down for that. So the fighters are not protected, they are all out there on their own and nobody look up to them… They are putting their body on the line for something. At least [give them] healthcare.” (h/t SportsKeeda)

One of Ngannou’s biggest gripes with the promotion has been the lack of freedom fighters like him have when it comes to pursuing other avenues. This includes boxing, where Ngannou has gone back-and-forth on social media with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Ngannou admitted during a recent interview that Paul’s management reached out to him to inquire about his interest in boxing. The UFC then allegedly threatened legal action against his manager for being in contact with Paul’s team.

But not all UFC fighters agree with Ngannou. Some veterans such as Sam Alvey have called Paul’s interest in UFC fighter pay “fake” and an effort to promote himself.

It’s unclear if and when Ngannou will return to the Octagon, but in the meantime, he’ll continue to voice his displeasure in how fighters are compensated for their efforts in the cage.

What are your thoughts on Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul’s calls for better UFC fighter pay and treatment?

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