On Saturday night at UFC Vegas 67’s post-fight press conference (watch it here), Dana White made it official: Francis Ngannou is no longer with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The promotion has stripped Ngannou of the Heavyweight title and will not pursue his re-signing any further.
Did he send off his former Heavyweight champion with some kind words and well wishes? Of course not! Instead, White not-so-subtly implied Ngannou wasn’t interested in hanging with the killers he’d have to face inside the Octagon.
“I think Francis is in a place right now where he doesn’t want to take a lot of risk,” White said. “Feels he’s in a good position where he could fight lesser opponents and make more money. So we’re going to let him do that.”
Those comments didn’t sit too well with former UFC Lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez, who corrected the record via social media.
“UFC simply lost the bid for Francis,” Alvarez wrote. “Instead of admitting that, they go with the narrative the the Scariest motherf—er alive is afraid to fight in the UFC hahhahahahhahahahhahahahhaa. These jokes write themselves.”
“Nobody in the UFC is ‘afraid’ of anyone,” Alvarez continued. “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.”
Alvarez then accused the UFC of keeping pay down to keep fighters desperate and easier to control.
“It’s counter-intuitive to pay fighters large purses because they become less cooperative and more independent,” he wrote. “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.”
Ufc simply lost the bid for Francis , instead of admitting that , they go with the narrative the the Scariest mother fucker alive is Afraid to fight in the UFC hahhahahahhahahahhahahahhaa These jokes write themselves #PHSUnreal— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) January 16, 2023
Eddie Alvarez is a 20 year veteran of the sport and he’s fought for many of the major promotions before spending five years with the UFC. In 2019 he left for ONE Championship, but is now plotting his next career move (which may be why he deleted some of his rant regarding the UFC and Ngannou). So he knows how the sport works.
But don’t take his first hand experiences as proof of this alone. Take Dana White’s own words, spoken at a Stanford Graduate School of Business lecture back in 2013. In one of his regular rants about boxing, White said the key problem was fighters being overpaid.
“What you get at the end is you get to multimillionaires who step into the ring and do everything they can to avoid a fight,” White said. “So they can win just barely win to get to the next multi-million dollar fight that we pay for.”
“Think about this,” he said. “Think about, every person in this room right now, if I guaranteed you all 37 million dollars. Guaranteed it. Guaranteed 37 million dollars this year guess what you’re going to do? Not much. Not much.”
Strange how soccer, football, basketball and baseball hasn’t witnessed the complete collapse of their sports because the multi-millionaires aren’t willing to put in the work any more.