Ex-Champion Gives Strong Take on Recent News: ‘The UFC Is Scared’

Dana White

Getty Dana White

Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez stated that the reason Francis Ngannou is no longer on the promotion’s roster is because the “UFC is scared” to pay fighters what they’re worth.

UFC president Dana White announced last week that “The Predator” was a free agent after “two years” of failed negotiations. Further, White said Ngannou’s heavyweight belt would be vacated and Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane would compete for it at UFC 285 on March 4.

When addressing the media at the UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference, White said Ngannou wanted to fight “lesser opponents and make more money,” insinuating that Ngannou didn’t want to “risk” stepping inside the Octagon and taking a loss to Jones.

“We offered Francis a deal that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the company,” White said. “More than [Brock] Lesnar, more than anybody. And he turned the deal down. We get to this point where — I’ve told you guys this before — if you don’t want to be here, you don’t have to be here. I think Francis is in a place right now where he doesn’t want to take a lot of risks. He feels like he’s in a good position where he could fight lesser opponents and make more money.

“So, we’re gonna let him do that. We’re going to release him from his contract, we’re going to give up our right to match. And he can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.”

Alvarez Called Ngannou ‘Scariest Motherf***** Alive,’ Said UFC Doesn’t Want to Increase Pay

Since the news, former UFC champions like Daniel Cormier and Alvarez have spoken out about Ngannou’s departure.

And specifically, they said The Predator wasn’t reluctant to fight. Alvarez took to Twitter on January 15 and wrote: “Ufc simply lost the bid for Francis, instead of admitting that, they go with the narrative the scariest mother f***** alive is afraid to fight in the UFC hahhahahahhahahahhahahahhaa. These jokes write themselves.”

Alvarez Told the UFC to ‘Keep It Real’ in Regards to Why Ngannou Is No Longer on the Roster

In a few comments on Instagram, Alvarez went deeper into his take on Ngannou versus the UFC. “Nobody in the UFC is ‘afraid’ of anyone,” Alvarez wrote, reacting to White’s comment about Ngannou avoiding risk. “The men who fight there are there to fight the best … The UFC is afraid to pay fighters, this is the only reason people leave, fighters don’t give a f*** who the next opponent is, they do care about what the pay will be. Keep it real and just say we lost the bid, Someone is paying more and end it there.

“It’s counterintuitive to pay fighters large purses because they become less cooperative and more dependent. The business works perfect when everyone is broke and begging to fight at the drop of a hat. Cooperation is key. Large purses disrupt their own business.”

Ngannou leaves the UFC with a professional mixed martial arts record of 17-3, with 12 wins via KO/TKO. He notched one title defense during his heavyweight title reign, beating Gane via unanimous decision in January 2022.

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