UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon has chimed in with his take on reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s contract situation with the UFC. In an interview with Mike Heck on an edition of MMA Fighting’s What The Heck podcast, Lauzon suggested that the UFC pays its fighters fairly.
Certain sections of the combat sports community – including fighters such as MMA star Ngannou and YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul – have been campaigning for better fighter pay for UFC athletes.
Joe Lauzon asserted that he himself is not “anti-fighter.” Having said that, he suggested that most top-tier fighters are primarily campaigning to increase their own pay and not that of their fellow fighters.
The 37-year-old clarified that he understands that everyone wants to get paid more for doing their respective jobs. However, he added that “Francis Ngannou wasn’t Francis Ngannou before his first fight in UFC.” Lauzon stated:
“He won a whole bunch of fights, he did well, and the UFC built him up. And now, he’s like this monster superstar. And that’s just the nature of it. If he didn’t want to sign that contract, he wouldn’t be making the money he’s making now. It’s just like, people kind of, I think that they forget about how strong the UFC brand is and how well they get it."
"Like, they get you early, so when you don’t have a lot of room to push back. And then as time goes on, now they have you. And that’s just how it goes. And they built your name up. Like, Francis Ngannou would not have been a huge name without the UFC. So, that’s how that goes.”
Watch Joe Lauzon’s conversation with Mike Heck in the video below:
Francis Ngannou on a potential boxing match against Tyson Fury
Ngannou competed in the final fight of his UFC contract earlier this year. ‘The Predator’ has consistently maintained that he’d love to re-sign with the UFC, albeit only if he’s given a pay raise and is allowed to compete in the sport of boxing as well. Ngannou recently underwent knee surgery and is unlikely to compete for the rest of 2022.
Regardless, taking to his YouTube channel, Ngannou emphasized that he’ll surely fight boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury someday. He opined that Fury wouldn’t risk facing him in an MMA bout and insinuated that they’ll likely compete in a boxing match. Furthermore, expressing his willingness to fight ‘The Gypsy King’ anywhere, Ngannou said:
"I don't really care about what (it) would be. I just think it'll be a fight against Tyson Fury. It can be in a phone booth or wherever (but) that fight will happen."