Stipe Miocic claims that he would have fancied a rubber match with Francis Ngannou
Since Francis Ngannou and the UFC were unable to negotiate a new contract while he was still heavyweight champion, he has terminated all ties with the organization. President of the UFC Dana White claimed that the organization offered Ngannou a contract that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the sport. However, the 36-year-old Cameroonian fighter was motivated by more than just money.
Stipe Miocic, who has fought ‘The Predator’ twice in his career at UFC 220 and UFC 260, famously dropping his belt to the Cameroonian in their clash in March 2021, reacted to Ngannou’s exit from the UFC in a recent interview on The MMA Hour.
Ngannou has been vocal about his desire for increased creative control in future contracts, claiming that he felt as though the UFC was instructing him to accept the money and keep quiet at various points during negotiations. Ngannou claims that he proposed fighter health insurance and requested an advocate to participate in on future contract discussions as a fighter representative against the promotion during the same contract talks.
Speaking about Ngannou’s exit [via MMA Fighting], Miocic stated:
“I get it. I mean, it’s going to be a long time before any of that happens — [Ngannou was] trying to move [the sport] in the right direction, which is great, but it’s going to be a long time before any of that happens.”
Adding further on how he would have fancied a third fight against Ngannou, Miocic stated:
“I would’ve loved to have fought Francis again, but it’s not going to happen. Listen, it’s his decision. I wish he would’ve stayed because I wanted another crack at him. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way, but listen, he’s doing what’s best for him and his family. He thinks it’s the right way to go, and it’s his decision. I wish him nothing but the best and I hope it works out.”
While it remains to be seen if their paths collide in the future, Miocic has experience in the ring as a past champion of the Cleveland Golden Gloves. Miocic would welcome a rubber bout with Ngannou in a boxing ring rather than an MMA cage.
“That’d be fantastic [to box Ngannou]. Hell yeah, I love boxing.”
Randy Couture hails Francis Ngannou’s decision to stand his ground in contract negotiations with the UFC
Randy Couture had learned from experience that the UFC wouldn’t budge on some points, but despite pressure, Francis Ngannou refused to sign a new contract with the same terms as his previous one.
As far back as 2007 and 2008, when Couture tried to quit the UFC and set up a fight with fellow heavyweight icon Fedor Emelianenko, he was reportedly at odds with the promotion over his contract. After reportedly spending $500,000 on legal fees, Couture settled with the UFC and signed a new multi-fight agreement to return to the promotion.
Addressing Ngannou’s exit in a recent interview on The MMA Hour on MMA Fighting, Couture stated:
“Francis is probably the closest to a top tier, marquee fighter that was literally holding the belt in the heavyweight division and put that on the line to make a statement. I’m proud of him for what he’s done. Hopefully, more fighters step up….I think what Francis is doing is natural, it’s indigenous to the issues in the sport as we suffer through these growing pains as becoming the fastest growing global sport in our society right now.”
“They don’t want to give up those things. They want to be able to control the fighters the way they want to control them. They don’t like that transparency. They keep those numbers pretty close to their vest so they don’t have to negotiate with fighters who know what their value is in the market place, that’s how that shakes out.”
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