Francis Ngannou’s $20 million boxing payday reignites UFC wage debate

Hunter Haas
Francis Ngannou’s $20 million payday calls the UFC wage gap into question

Francis Ngannou, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, has branched out into the boxing world. And he’s bringing in loads of cash in the process.

After holding his own and nearly winning against the undefeated WBC champion, Tyson Fury, former UFC champion Francis Ngannou didn’t fare as well against Anthony Joshua.

Joshua knocked Ngannou down multiple times before eventually landing the final blow, putting the MMA star flat on his back to end the night.

Francis Ngannou takes home massive payday vs. Anthony Joshua

Although the fight didn’t go as planned for Ngannou, he still reportedly brought him $20 million for the scrum. Add that to the $10 million he made vs. Fury in October 2023.

That $30 million total, all coming in the past six months and only requiring two fights, is nearly 10x as much as Ngannou made in his entire 14-fight UFC career.

Jake Paul has been vocal about the UFC’s insistence on underpaying its talent. And the reported payday for Ngannou vs. Joshua further helps Paul’s case.

The UFC cleared over $1 billion in revenue in 2023, and according to Paul, the company’s CEO, Dana White, is not divvying up those funds fairly to his fighters.

White regularly shuts down the discourse when asked about it, claiming that he properly compensates his fighters and it is on par with their value on the open market.

According to the Sportster, the highest payout for a single fight in UFC history is $8 million for Brock Lesnar at UFC 200.

Ngannou nearly tripled that on March 8 in his second professional boxing match.

On the other hand, Joshua brought in a whopping $50 million for the fight, which towers over the expected payout for the entire UFC 300 card.

While the UFC has made ground on boxing in the combat sports realm over the past decade, it’s clear who the king is regarding lucrative paydays.

Expect more octagon stars to venture into the ring until the UFC can compete with boxing’s payouts, especially if one boxing match can earn more than an entire MMA career for most fighters.