Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Ngannou Loses a Million Dollar Deal, White Admits Losing Burgos a Mistake

Francis Ngannou UFC
Francis Ngannou, UFC 270 press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

In a somewhat shocking admission, UFC President Dana White has gone on record to say that mistakes were made in letting Shane Burgos slip away. Francis Ngannou, meanwhile, saw a million dollar sponsorship slip through his fingers thanks to the UFC signing a deal with All that and more in this week’s Sunday MMA Quick hits.

Dana White Admits “Big Mistakes” Made in Not Re-Signing Burgos

One of the more shocking free agent moves of late has been that of Shane Burgos. The ranked UFC featherweight, on a two-fight win streak, announced his departure from the promotion this past Monday.

The very next day, UFC President Dana White admitted the promotion had made a mistake in letting him go.

“Basically, there were some mistakes that were made here, some sh*t that… he should’ve still been here,” White told Yahoo Sports in an interview. “I respect him very much and I wish him the best.”

“100 percent [mistakes were made], 100 percent. Big mistakes were made over here.”

Francis Ngannou lost million dollar crypto sponsorship thanks to UFC deal

The UFC signing a deal with put the nail in the coffin for Francis Ngannou’s own sponsorship from a crypto company.

The UFC heavyweight champion is in the midst of a contract dispute with the promotion, and having sponsors banned with the ushering in of the Reebok outfitting deal (now Venom) doesn’t appear to have helped matters.

“Fighters are ripped off with sponsorship,” Ngannou posted on social media recently. “It’s a huge source of revenue for us but the company keeps exploiting that for their own benefit.”

In a separate post, Ngannou stated that “Last year I lost a deal of over a million dollars from a crypto exchange because the partnership with CRYPTO.COM”

“The Predator” then questioned what he gets out of the UFC’s sponsorship deal with the company. The short answer, on that front, is “not one million dollars.” The deal does see “Fan Bonus of the Night” awards to three fighters at each numbered UFC event paid out — but only numbered events, no Fight Nights. The winners, voted for by fans, get $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency; thus far, the bonuses have been little more than a popularity contest.

Julia Avila latest to speak out on fighter pay

Fighter pay is an issue that will not be going away any time soon, no matter how much Dana White wishes it would.

Francis Ngannou has spoken out about it. Luke Rockhold ripped the UFC on pay and health care in advance of his fight at UFC 278. And now women’s bantamweight Julia Avila has spoken out.

Fighter pay is great when you have a fight; I had 9 cancelled fights one year and since my injury 2021, I had to get a job to make ends meet and have insurance to cover my pregnancy,” Avila wrote on social media. “I love being a part of the UFC, it’s a dream come true. But it is a temporary dream.”

The rest of Avila’s posts are well worth a read.

Dana White responds to Luke Rockhold’s healthcare comments

Speaking of Rockhold, his comments regarding his health not being taken care of, made during the UFC 278 media day this past Wednesday, drew a response from Dana White.

“Luke Rockhold was above and beyond taken care of with the issues that he had here,” White told TSN on Friday. “I don’t give a sh*t what health insurance plan you have, they would have never covered the things that we covered for Luke Rockhold when he was going through his stuff. Everything he said was absolute f*cking gibberish and absolute bullsh*t.”

Cageside Live reacts to Vera’s KO of Cruz

Cageside Live covered Marlon Vera’s head kick KO of Dominick Cruz, and Paige VanZant dropping off the BKFC London card this week.