Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is now finally out of the UFC and through the intense negotiations with the UFC and former UFC fighter Randy Couture is proud of the former heavyweight champion for doing so.
Francis Ngannou claims that warning came two years ago, while he was in the middle of contract negotiations with the UFC for a new deal and thinking about quitting the company to pursue free agency.
Famously, Randy Couture battled the UFC on a number of previous occasions over his contract, including a legal dispute that took place between 2007 and 2008 as he sought to quit the organisation in order to challenge fellow heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko. After reportedly spending $500,000 on legal fees, Couture ultimately reached a settlement with the UFC and signed a new multi-fight contract to rejoin the company. Since his retirement, he has taken the initiative to speak out against restrictive contracts and push for greater financial transparency so that people may compare the earnings of promotions with the salaries of the sportsmen.
Randy Couture is proud of Francis Ngannou
Couture claims that he never actually spoke to Francis Ngannou about his own experience with the UFC, but it doesn’t take much digging to find out about the highly publicised conflict he had with his former employers.
“The history is there,” Couture told MMA Fighting in an interview. “When [Zuffa] bought the company, I took them to task over their ancillary rights and the crappy contract they were trying to force me to sign as their heavyweight champion. We asked and put some more clauses in there. The upside to that is I got a much better deal moving forward. The downside is they closed a bunch of the loopholes in those crappy contracts and made it more difficult for other fighters moving forward.
“I never spoke to Francis directly myself but obviously Eric [Nicksick] is our head coach and our gym manager [at Xtreme Couture] and he was directly responsible for helping Francis shore up his wrestling and training for those fights against Stipe [Miocic] and the other fights he had in the UFC. I talked to Eric a lot about my position and where I stood. I was the only guy chirping back in ’06, ’07. Trying to get a better deal in  when they bought the company. Fighting for my ancillary rights in all that stuff, the video games and all the other stuff that’s tied up in all of that.”