Francis Ngannou’s departure from UFC brought him to the greener pasture. Eric Nicksick, one of his coaches, is living testimony of it, recalling how much Ngannou paid him after the Tyson Fury fight. According to the Xtreme Couture MMA coach, what the fighter paid him gave him “a lot of financial freedom.”

Ngannou left the UFC after failing to secure a deal that would allow him to explore other fights outside the octagon. “The Predator” then signed with PFL, which let him face Fury in a boxing fight. The MMA fighter failed to officially win the bout but undoubtedly made a mark in the boxing world after giving the opponent a hard time in the ring. This, nonetheless, is not the only highlight of Ngannou’s boxing journey: it’s his earnings.

The fight reportedly brought the fighter eight figures, with Nicksick stressing that Ngannou shared some percentage of it with his team members, including him. As the coach shared with MMA Junkie, it was the biggest pay he’s ever received from a fighter.

“It was the most money I’ve ever been paid by a fighter – it was unbelievable,” Nicksick said. “It was more than I expected. Obviously, Francis has always taken great care of me, but it floored me. When I saw my Wells Fargo account that morning, it literally brought me to tears. That’s a true story. Literally brought me to tears because he changed my life – not only from a professional standpoint, but a monetary standpoint.

“It allowed me a lot of financial freedom to allow me to be able to enjoy my coaching, enjoy being a dad and a husband and I get to take my kids to Park City this weekend, my daughter’s 16th birthday. Helped us buy a new car. There’s a lot of things with Francis moving over to boxing, and the way he takes care of his team. He loves every single one of us, and he shows it. He takes care of us, and I couldn’t thank him enough.”

The topic of UFC’s monopoly in the MMA world has been around for quite a long time now. It resulted in criticisms and even lawsuits pushed by current and former MMA talents, stating that the promotion’s dominance allows it to pay fighters less than they deserve. Nicksick didn’t echo the exact sentiment but noted how MMA fighters have other options besides UFC.

“I think it does show that you’re able to go outside the UFC and still be successful,” said Nicksick. “It’s hard to put an evaluation when you talk about Francis and his star power and what he’s capable of doing. Can Jeremy Kennedy do that same thing? I don’t know. There’s just guys I don’t know if that’s going to work out in their favor the same way it did for Francis. But it also gives guys more options, and I think more options are important to have.”

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