Dana White Spews Hypocrisy Amidst Ngannou Deal With PFL

Dana White Spews Hypocrisy Amidst Ngannou Deal With PFL
Image ©Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Frank Weber
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

Oh boy, there’s a lot to unpack here.

UFC President Dana White is back in the limelight–although, I’m not sure he ever really leaves the limelight–after making remarks about Francis Ngannou’s new deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Ngannou, who fought in the UFC from 2016-2022, did not re-sign with the UFC upon contract expiration and decided to test the free agency market. It had been clear for some time that Ngannou was unhappy with how he was being treated by the UFC and felt like he deserved more.

Not necessarily more money (although that was a part) but Ngannou felt he lacked input in his own career. He wanted guarantees outside of the octagon as well as inside of them, and wanted to make sure all fighters–not just himself–were being treated fairly.

How dare he?

While a fighter not re-signing with the UFC isn’t necessarily a new story, Ngannou’s case was a bit different. You see, when his contract expired, he was the reigning, defending, undisputed Heavyweight Champion.

So when Ngannou left, not only was the UFC losing a star, but they were losing a champion as well–and that clearly ticked off Dana White.

Francis Ngannou’s New Deal With PFL

Before we get into Dana’s beef with Ngannou, it’s important to understand the terms of his new deal with the PFL.

It was announced earlier last week that Ngannou has signed a multi-fight deal (at least two fights) with the PFL. These fights will not take place in the ongoing tournament they conduct, rather they will be pay-per-view exclusive fights in the organization's “Superfight” division.

Ngannou is guaranteed a “high 7-figure” purse for each fight, as well as a split of the event's net profits. Ngannou reserves the right to have some of his own sponsors in the cage, and he has secured a minimum salary of $1-2 million for his opponent.

Most importantly for Ngannou, though, is that he has a seat on the PFL’s Global Athlete Advisory Board, and is Chairman and equity owner of PFL Africa.

White Comments on Ngannou’s Deal

When Ngannou signed this massive new deal, it was the talk of the town–and that talk spread all the way to none other than Dana White, who had some things to say.

"Based on what I know about the deal, which is not much, it makes no sense to me," White told reporters Saturday. "You're going to pay a guy not to fight for a year, and it's already been like [14] months. He's fought three times in the last three years.”

What White is referring to here is that the PFL and Ngannou have both said that a fight in 2023 is unlikely for the Heavyweight. They are targeting 2024 for his debut fight.

However, Ngannou’s PFL deal allows him to participate in boxing events, and Ngannou is adamant he will get one in 2023. White wasn’t so happy with that either.

"PFL is going to pay this guy to train for a boxing match that may not even happen and that they might not even be involved in. How does that make any sense?" White said. "It doesn't make sense to me. Anthony Joshua called it a gimmick fight this week. When asked about that fight, he's like, 'I'm focused on fighting the best guys in the world. I'm not interested in a gimmick fight right now.' And that's one of the big problems with boxing right now, is it's all about these gimmicky type fights, and that's just not what I do here. It's not what I do."

I want everyone to remember the last two lines of that quote. Gimmicks are just “not what I do” here. Okay, remember that for me now.


White’s Remarks On Tyson Fury

“If Tyson Fury really wants to fight Jon Jones in the UFC, I will make it happen. Here’s my thing: Right now, Tyson, if you’re serious, let me know," White said.

"Tyson and I have a good relationship. I like Tyson Fury. We can talk all we want. Tyson can talk, Jon Jones can talk, I can talk, we can all talk. Let’s do it.

"If Tyson is serious, and he wants to do it, listen, I got Floyd Mayweather to fight (McGregor) and we paid Floyd. We got Floyd the number he wanted. If Tyson Fury is serious, and he wants to fight Jon Jones in the UFC, let’s start talking.”

Wait wait wait, something must be up here, right? Because just a week before this we were calling an MMA fighter in the boxing ring a gimmick, and the UFC doesn’t do that, right?

But now, a week later, we have the prospects of a boxer in the octagon and THAT'S okay?

Yea, sure Dana.

White was so embarrassed by Ngannou’s new deal that he lashed out and ended up making a fool of himself just one week later.

White has to learn how to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth when he’s angry, it’s a bad look.

…That said though, a fight between Tyson Fury and Jon Jones would be pretty incredible. There are no odds released for that fight just yet, but you’d surely be able to bet on it through any of these online sportsbooks.

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