Gamebred Boxing 4 aired some fascinating bouts from the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. One of the fan-favorites on the card was featherweight GOAT Jose Aldo. However, ahead of his second boxing outing, the 36-year-old couldn’t but ponder upon why Francis Ngannou fumbled the bag with the biggest MMA sports organization in the world.
Aldo has had an illustrious career that stamped his name in the realm of MMA. Even though the Brazilian hasn’t familiarized himself enough with the squared circle yet, he does understand the business side of things. Having encountered a strong rival in Conor McGregor in the past, Aldo has closely followed the Irishman’s career, including his megafight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
While promoting his boxing match against Jeremy Stephens, Jose made an appearance on the Trocação Franca podcast. During a particular segment, Aldo touched on Francis’ sudden departure from the UFC. The 36-year-old shared, “With all humbleness, I think Ngannou shot himself in the foot. He had everything to sign a great contract, the biggest in heavyweight. But, this desire to be a boxing champion or to fight in boxing.”
The Brazilian further doubled down on his claims. He insinuated that Francis isn’t an elite boxer despite convincing himself of being one. Aldo further explained, “People see the top of the boxing pyramid getting paid big numbers but forget that the lower part is paid so little. I think the UFC has bigger salaries than boxing.”
Aldo referenced Ronda Rousey‘s career in comparison to the same hill that Francis is trying to climb up on. Jose added, “He’s leaving the UFC and you can be sure that 50 percent of everything he is, is off his name now. Ronda, in order to make her movies, she had to be in the UFC. No one talks about Ronda now because nobody remembers her now. The UFC is elevated alongside the athlete. You need to be in there.”
The UFC’s contract dispute with Francis Ngannou
Despite achieving the heavyweight strap in the promotion, ‘The Predator‘ might not have necessarily gone in the right direction, at least business-wise. During his long negotiation period, the former heavyweight champion requested several things. The Nigerian native asked for a 3-fight deal, no extension clauses, and health insurance for the roster. However, the UFC didn’t oblige them all.
After 2 years of negotiating and securing a new contract, Ngannou almost sealed himself as the highest-paid athlete in the promotion’s history. Unfortunately, contract talks went south towards the end and the UFC parted ways with Francis. This resulted in the heavyweight belt being relinquished. Former Light heavyweight champ Jon Jones now sits atop and oversees the division’s mountain.
Since his departure from the UFC, Francis has appeared alongside elite boxers Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. The Cameroonian was hopeful he’d use the afresh freedom to scratch enormous paydays against the two. However, despite some back-and-forth dialogues, nothing really came to fruition.
Fans and supporters believe the UFC won’t have Francis’ back even if he does ink a deal to box this year or the next. Do you agree with Aldo’s perception that Francis Ngannou shot himself in the foot by parting ways with the UFC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.