10 UFC fighters who weren’t respected by the UFC

It’s no secret UFC brass and its fighters do not always agree on everything. Between the remuneration of the combatants, the contracts, the combat obligations and the marketing, things are bound to become chaotic. Some issues are common knowledge while others take a long time to come to light. These problems can lead to an exchange of words or actions that are simply disrespectful.

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Whether intentional or not, fighters feeling disrespectful by the brass can lead to other issues down the line, including grudges, strained relationships, and ugly back-and-forths. Without further ado, let’s take a look back at the times the UFC disrespected its fighters.


ten
Francois Ngannou

Franics Ngannou UFC 260

Document Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The recently crowned heavyweight champion didn’t have to wait long before problems with the UFC arose. Ngannou had previously struggled before his rematch with Stipe in particular, having to sit on the sidelines while Miocic and DC wrapped up their trilogy. More recently, after winning his heavyweight belt, Ngannou was ready to be an active champion.

He has been called to make headlines UFC 265 in Houston, but due to travel issues, he was unable to answer the call. Rather than looking for a replacement headliner in another division, the UFC decided to move forward with an interim belt between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis. The champion had just fought at the end of March and, given the time he waited before UFC 260, creating an interim title was a slap in the face to the heavyweight champion.

9
Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic UFC 220

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the heavyweight champion is bound to run into trouble with the brass at one point or another. In the run-up to his first match with Francis Ngannou, the marketing of the match strongly favored the challenger. Highlights included Ngannou’s recent knockout of Alistair Overeem as well as President Dana White’s jubilation of Ngannou’s power and comparing it to being knocked out by Ford Escort.

To add to the disrespect, Miocic opened his doors as a betting outsider and little was shared about the possibility of the heavyweight champion breaking the title defense record with a victory over Ngannou. It looked like the UFC was towering over Stipe and ready to cash in a Ngannou title reign. As the fight unfolded, Stipe would drag Ngannou into the final rounds and win a unanimous decision. To show his resentment towards the brass, Stipe would take Dana White’s belt and give it to his trainer to wrap around her waist.

8
Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes UFC 207

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of champions who are disrespected by marketing, the start of Amanda Nunes’ reign is a prime example. Amanda Nunes was scheduled to face Ronda Rousey at UFC 207. The bigger story was obviously Rousey’s return, but the UFC did little to no promotion to showcase its champion. The marketing package created for the fight greatly underscored Ronda’s return to the Octagon and all the adversity she had to overcome to face the public again. Amanda’s road to the title or what she brought to the table to become a worthy champion has hardly been discussed to the point that Joe Rogan we acknowledged and had to pump the female featherweight champion.

7
Nate diaz

Nate diaz

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier had to fight at UFC 230 at MSG. The UFC brought the two fighters to the UFC 25th anniversary press conference to highlight the fight as well as the return of the UFC to New York. Towards the end of the press conference, UFC President Dana White said they had one final announcement before the lights went out and a video began to officially announce Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor. .

Seen as a blatant disrespect, Nate Diaz can be seen leaving the conference and was later recorded speaking to reporters that the fight with Poirier might not happen after all. It’s no secret Nate already felt under-promoted and underrated by the brass in the UFC. The Khabib vs Conor announcement overshadowed Nate’s expected return and was, honestly, what led to the fight never happening.

6
Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg UFC 240

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Before entering the UFC, relations were already chaotic between Cris Cyborg and UFC officials. Dana White and Joe Rogan had both made derogatory statements about Cyborg in the past that called into question the fighter’s appearance. Things were sort of magically resolved, at least from a business standpoint, for Cyborg to enter the UFC.

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Cyborg started her UFC career having to lose 140 pounds for weight catching fights, but she was eventually placed at the forefront of the women’s featherweight division. She won gold, but the division never rose outside of the women’s bantamweight which progressed one weight class and some actual female featherweights. She eventually faced Amanda Nunes and was later released from her contract. Despite headlining multiple UFC cards, Cyborg’s treatment and UFC run were poor, especially since she’s one of the best to do so.

5
Tyron woodley

Tyron Woodley UFC 235

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The former welterweight champion had his issues with the UFC and felt he was never properly promoted. After some of his performances, President Dana White would berate Woodley for his lack of activity in his fight, rather than comment on how the differences in styles between the fighters may have led to a boring fight.

Woodley’s booking for Till was also particularly disrespectful as the focus was on the English fighter rather than the welterweight champion. Perhaps one of the most distinctive signs of disrespect came right after Woodley captured the gold. UFC Fight Pass posted a clip of welterweight champion knocked out by Nate Marquardt to promote Marquardt’s upcoming fight with Tamdan McCrory. The UFC appeared to be okay with downgrading their welterweight champion to promote the fourth fight of a Fight Night.

4
Demetrious johnson

Dj UFC Fight Night

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps one of the greatest mixed martial artists to ever practice, Demetrious Johnson, also struggled with the UFC. Things slowed down due to Johnson’s low PPV count, but things really started to escalate whenever “Mighty Mouse” didn’t want to engage in a potential fight with the then bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw.

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White and the UFC pointed out DJ’s low PPV numbers and went so far as to make threats to fight whether DJ wanted it or not. The final nail in the coffin came after a split decision loss to Henry Cejudo, where one of MMA’s greatest talents was traded for Ben Askren in an MMA trade between promotions.

3
Gerald Meerschaert

GM3 Fight Night Tampa

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Meerschaert and Khamzat Chimaev had to fight in UFC 178 Fight Night on September 19, 2020. After signing the fight, it was discovered that the UFC was hoping to overtake Chimaev against BJJ specialist Demian Maia two weeks later. Like any fighter, ‘GM3’ felt disrespectful, making a bold prediction that Chimaev would need more than two weeks to recover from their next fight. Unfortunately, as things were to unfold, Chimaev would only need 17 seconds to deal with Meerschaert. Without the breakdown in negotiations with Maia, we might have a fourth fight against Khamzat in 2020. Either way, it was a tasteless shift from UFC to veteran MMA.

2
Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson UFC 263

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Following a knee injury he suffered while performing his media obligations, Tony Ferguson was forced to leave his match against Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 223. He was quickly stripped of his interim title as Khabib and Al Iaquinta clashed for the undisputed belt, a belt that took the company 15 months to strip Conor McGregor of his inactivity. As one might imagine and in typical Tony Ferguson fashion, Tony was not happy with the strip. Tony’s championship run was hugely impressive, recording a nine-game winning streak before battling for an interim belt. His chance to be an undisputed champion was never presented to him due to a bad UFC reservation and McGregor’s inactivity.

1
Mark the hunt

Mark Hunt 2016

Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Lesnar would win a unanimous decision over Mark Hunt in UFC 200, using his power and superior struggle to overpower the Super Samoan. What quickly followed, however, was a reversal of the decision after Lesnar’s drug tests came back positive. Hunt is reportedly suing the UFC after learning about Lesnar’s positive drug tests, saying the UFC has waived drug testing as a way to ensure The Beast Incarnate participated in UFC 200. Mark Hunt believed that the penalties for the failed drug test weren’t tough enough, and neither were they. imposed by the brass.


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