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Midnight Mania! Francis Ngannou reveals UFC sponsorship cost him million dollar opportunity

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UFC 270: Ngannou v Gane Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Luke Rockhold is sparking a bit of a fire with his recent explicative rants against UFC, Dana White, and the stagnation of fighter pay. Specifically, he’s been especially enraged at the UFC bonus structure, which has arguable gotten worse over the years, especially when inflation is considered.

Rockhold’s rant struck a chord with UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. “The Predator” is still recovering from his knee surgery, but at the end of the year, he’s expected to be a free agent. Ngannou has criticized UFC’s pay structure and controlling nature previously, but this is really the first time he’s talked about how much uniform regulations have cost him specifically. Ngannou describes sponsorship as a “huge source of revenue” that has been taken from UFC athletes.

Ngannou argues that fighters should be able to add individual sponsors to their UFC uniform, which is a similar suggestion to PFL’s current system. In addition, he brings up UFC’s deal with Crypto.com. UFC reportedly earned $175 million from that contract, and initially, it seemed like the athletes wouldn’t see any of it. Instead, UFC has implemented a fan-voted bonus system that disperses some of the Crypto.com money … but has led to bizarre outcomes. Even if Ngannou wins every one of those fan bonuses for the rest of his career, it’s unlikely to make up for the $1 million Crypto deal he was in the process of securing.

At the moment, Ngannou’s top priority remains a boxing match with sort-of-retired “Gypsy King.” He remains open to resigning with UFC, but we’ll have to wait and see how those negotiations develop. If they go well, he may be welcomed back to the cage by a yet-to-be-crowned interim champion.

Insomnia

As a guy who writes articles based on where they’re placed on the card, UFC’s constant last-second shifting feels like a personal attack.

Paulo Costa looks like he actually trained for this fight.

In addition to all the targets mentioned above, Rockhold takes issues with this Nelk Boys nonsense. Rockhold really might get cut with a loss …

I am ready for more suplexes courtesy of “The Hammer.”

Eryk Anders absolutely proved his Fight IQ by opting not to get Ngannou uppercutted in the training room.

Any bets on which famous manager is costing his athletes money in exchange for goodwill from the UFC?

This looks pretty not fun.

Mike Perry, cunning linguist.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Bring the funk!

The left kick into the open side claims another victim.

Sent him to the canvas and jumped on the neck right away!

Random Land

The imprint on this overgrowth is pretty cool.

Midnight Music: Frank Ocean is best known for his crooning, but every once in a while, the R&B star drops some bars.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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