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Bareknuckle fighter paid more than UFC champ Francis Ngannou — ‘And I’m doubling that with sponsors’

UFC Fight Night: Dos Santos v Ivanov Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Told ya’ so.

UFC heavyweight titleholder Francis Ngannou got paid $600,000 for his championship victory over heavyweight rival Ciryl Gane in the UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last month in Anaheim, Calif., which sounds great to the average working man, but pales in comparison to some of the combat sports competition.

Like former UFC featherweight contender Chad Mendes, who is making his combat sports comeback for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) at “KnuckleMania II” on Feb. 19 from inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

“I’ll put it this way: I just saw what the UFC heavyweight champion of the world got paid, and it’s gonna be more than that,” Mendes told MMA Junkie. “I’m getting paid well for the fight, and I’m doubling that with the sponsors alone. It’s crazy. That was such a big money maker for us in the UFC. Obviously not everybody, but people who knew what they were doing and could promote and actually get out there and do what they needed to do to get those, it was great.”

Ngannou, like so many of his fellow UFC fighters, has been unhappy with the current pay structure in UFC, which is not only below rival promotions like Bellator MMA, but also provides restrictive clauses to prevent conflicting side-hustles.

In addition, UFC no longer allows outside sponsors, instead relying on “Fight Kit” bonuses and approved revenue sharing (like this). Not a big deal for money-making titans like this guy, but for the rest of the roster it’s kill what you eat (or hit the bricks).

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