Ngannou is one of the most ferocious fighters on the planet. The giant Cameroonian possesses frightening knockout power. This helped him win the UFC heavyweight championship. He should be a promoter’s dream but that’s not how it turned out. The UFC refused to match his financial demands and one of the most bitter contract holdouts ever emerged.
They made him an offer and told him that if he didn’t like it, he could walk. Ngannou and his representative shrugged before nodding their assent. This left the UFC in an embarrassing situation because he flirted with boxing. He made the promotion appear to be cheap because they wouldn’t pay their star. Ngannou may be the winner at the end of all this (via Give Me Sport).
Jackson was a young man of extreme principle. When the Buccaneers tricked him into missing his final season of college baseball eligibility, he said he’d never play for the franchise. Then Tampa Bay picked him in the first round of the NFL Draft. However, Jackson stunned them by declaring for the MLB Draft. He spent three seasons with the Kansas City Royals and became an All-Star.
Then, Al Davis lured him back to football with the Los Angeles Raiders. Jackson duly agreed and signed an NFL contract with the franchise. It was a massive demonstration of player power because he refused to allow the Bucs to bully him. They stood back in sullen silence as he showed his skills in the league. Jackson also became the first player to achieve NFL and MLB All-Star status (via Tampa Bay Times).
The soccer world thought that Arsenal pulled off a coup when they signed Aubemyang. The Gabonese striker proved that he was one of the best forwards in the world. However, he tired of being their focal point because the club showed few signs of progression. This put him at odds with the team’s manager, Mikel Arteta. Furthermore, Aubemeyang wanted more money.
Arsenal didn’t want to match his demands because of his age and their wage structure. After one of the most intense contract holdouts in recent memory, they sent him to Barcelona. Almost immediately, he became one of the Catalan giant’s biggest stars. He also made more money in Spain than in London. It’s safe to say that he was the winner because he achieved everything he wanted (via The Mirror).
Yashin had a great career with the Ottawa Senators before his relationship with the franchise collapsed. He believed that his contract allowed him to void the final year and become a free agent. However, the Senators disputed this and refused to release him. This created an impasse between the player and the franchise. But it continued to escalate (via The Globe And Mail).
The Russian sat out for the entire 1999-2000 season because he thought this would guarantee free agency. But Ottawa brought him to court and claimed he failed to meet the terms of his contract. The court of arbitration agreed and Yashin found himself back on the ice with the Senators. The fans didn’t give him a warm welcome but he had a decent final year in Canada.
Daniel Levy is one of the toughest negotiators in the world of soccer. The Spurs chairman refuses to allow players to leave for a dime under their value. Meanwhile, Kane was the team’s star player in 2021. But he was tired of carrying them on his shoulders and wanted to leave. Manchester City made their interest known and turned his head even further.
But Levy wanted outrageous money for the England captain. Kane made no secret of the fact that he wanted to leave. He said that he made a gentleman’s agreement with Levy before the season. But money is more important than honor in the modern world. In the end, City couldn’t afford Spurs’ valuation and Kane stayed. The team declined even further in 2022 (via Sportsmole).
Irish MMA superstar McGregor had a meteoric rise to fame. However, his relationship with the UFC has had its ups and downs. One of the biggest came before UFC 200. First, the promotion booked McGregor to fight Nate Diaz in a rematch. But then he had a major dispute. He refused to engage in media duties because he wanted to focus on his preparation.
Then he pretended to retire as he played hardball with the promotion. Nonetheless, the UFC refused to back down. They pulled him from the fight and replaced him with Brock Lesnar. In the end, McGregor sat out for a few months after one of MMA’s biggest contract holdouts. He returned to action and defeated Diaz in a rematch (via FOX Sports).
Australian basketball star Simmons is one of the most infamous athletes in recent years. The NBA rarely experiences contract holdouts but Simmons brought it to the next level. He refused to play for the 76ers in 2021 because of mental health issues. In the end, the franchise fined him around $10 million throughout the season.
This frustrated his team and his coaches. Furthermore, Philadelphia is one of the most hostile sports cities in the world. It’s not the best place for fans to hate an athlete. But Simmons didn’t care and forced an exit. Finally, he achieved his wish and moved to the Brooklyn Nets. Simmons also attracted heat in 2022 after missing key playoff games (via CBS Sports).
Everybody knows Rodgers because he is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. The Packers star spent his entire career with the franchise and won a Super Bowl. He was also a two-time NFL MVP award winner. However, in 2020, he rocked the world with one of the most dramatic contract holdouts ever. He refused to train because he wanted to leave Wisconsin.
Then he failed to show up for preseason practice. Finally, the Packers agreed to negotiate his deal for a final season. Fans and analysts widely expected that the Broncos would trade for him in 2021. But that’s not what happened. In the end, Rodgers signed a new contract with the Packers and became even wealthier. It also put the highly-rated Jordan Love in a very strange position (via NBC Sports).