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Chad Mendes claims bare knuckle bout pays more than Francis Ngannou’s UFC purse

Chad Mendes is set to make his BKFC debut at Knucklemania II.

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Multiple time UFC title challenger Chad Mendes left the UFC in 2019, on the heels of a TKO defeat to future champ Alex Volkanovski. He ended his Octagon career with 13 appearances with losses only to reigning, future or former champions.

Mendes is now booked to return to combat sports competition. However, like a rising number of ex-UFC fighters, his return will take place in the realm of bare knuckle boxing. Mendes is currently set to make his bare knuckle debut at BKFC’s Knucklemania II event on February 19. He’s scheduled to meet Joshuah Alvarez in a 155lb bout.

The Team Alpha Male product recently spoke to MMA Junkie about his transition to bare knuckle boxing. With that outlet he also made a stunning claim about the salary he’s commanding from BKFC.

“I’ll put it this way: I just saw what the UFC heavyweight champion of the world just got paid, and it’s gonna be more than that. It’s pretty crazy. I feel blessed for sure.”

Mendes is referring to Francis Ngannou, who earned a reported purse of $600,000 at UFC 270. It’s not known how much extra Ngannou earned from pay-per-view points.

At UFC 270 Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane to unify the UFC heavyweight title. His lower-than-expected purse is the product of Ngannou’s rejection of a more lucrative (and long-term) contract with the UFC. Ngannou has said that he is happy to have made a smaller amount for this fight for the chance to get out of his current contract and either sign a deal with the UFC that allows him to pursue boxing or leave the promotion and operate as a true independent.

Ngannou has claimed he has left around $7 million on the table by not agreeing to re-up with the UFC.

Mendes isn’t the only former UFC fighter to sing BKFC’s praises when it comes to purses. Paige VanZant, Mike Perry, Rachael Ostovich, Artem Lobov and Jason Knight have all claimed to have made more money in bare knuckle fighting than they did fighting in the Octagon.