Francis Ngannou reveals talks with major MMA promotions following UFC departure
Francis Ngannou broke all ties with the UFC because he was unable to agree to a fresh contract arrangement with the company while he was still the heavyweight champion. Dana White, the president of the UFC, disclosed that Francis Ngannou was offered a deal that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA). The 36-year-old Cameroonian fighter was motivated to battle for reasons other than financial gain.
Ngannou, one of the most famous heavyweight athletes in the world, recently acknowledged in an interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto that his career in MMA is far from over.
“I wanna do one boxing match first, then maybe go back to MMA. I actually enjoy MMA and still want to do (it),” Ngannou said. “I do believe that I still have a couple fights in me… I’ve been having some serious conversations with PFL, also with ONE (Championship). Not too much with Bellator… But there is not a rush. My first fight has to be with boxing. If I have some good conditions, a right contract with the right terms, maybe I have no problem making an agreement (in MMA) before stepping into a boxing fight.”
Dana White shuts down possibility of Francis Ngannou returning to the UFC
After Francis Ngannou and the UFC were unable to come to terms on a new contract while he was still heavyweight champion, Ngannou severed all connections with the organization. UFC president Dana White revealed that Francis Ngannou was given a deal that would have made him the most-paid heavyweight in mixed martial arts history. The 36-year-old Cameroonian fighter had other goals than making a lot of money.
Ngannou has been outspoken about his desire for more autonomy in the creative process in upcoming contracts, saying he felt the UFC was telling him to accept the money and keep quiet at various points during negotiations. During those same contract talks, Ngannou says he proposed fighter health insurance and asked for an advocate to participate in future contract discussions as a fighter representative against the promotion.
Dana White was asked by reporters after the ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 285 if the promotion could reopen talks with Ngannou to face the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane. White simply replied:
“No. We negotiated with him for years. It’s over, that’s over. He’ll never be in the UFC again. Yeah, I never say never, but I’ll give you a never on that one. We tried.”
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