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‘Ripped off’ - Heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou blames UFC for losing million-dollar sponsorship

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou apparently lost out on a major deal because of one of the company’s partnerships.

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s grievances with the company are only continuing to mount. In a recent series of tweets he posted, “The Predator” expressed his displeasure over the UFC’s sponsorship deals and how the organization is using it to “exploit” its fighters.

Ngannou entered the UFC In late 2015 when the Reebok deal was already in place. He didn’t get to enjoy the apparel sponsorships that many of his fellow fighters did in the months and years prior, but he understands how it impacts their bottom line.

Last November, the UFC also entered a partnership with Crypto.com. And according to a statement from Crypto’s CMO Steven Kalifowitz, the said collaboration ensures that “fighters themselves are benefitting directly.”

Ngannou, however, doesn’t see it that way. He even revealed losing a major deal because of the Crypto partnership.

The 35-year-old Ngannou, who’s been in recovery after having knee surgery in March, is said to be “ahead of schedule” for his Octagon return, according to his coach Eric Nicksick. One of his potential opponent options is former champion Jon Jones, who’s been preparing for his heavyweight debut for the last two years.