The truths of Francis Ngannou on his departure from the UFC

The truths of Francis Ngannou on his departure from the UFC

Francis Ngannou publicly reacted to the end of his contract with the UFC on Tuesday. No resentment towards Dana White, the former heavyweight champion has no shortage of plans for his future and could even make his boxing debut.

Just released by the UFC after refusing a huge contract offered by Dana White, Francis Ngannou wants to take the time to explore his possibilities for the future. The now ex-heavyweight champion of the prestigious MMA organization has no shortage of options as he indicated in the specialized podcast The MMA Hour by journalist Ariel Helwani. His knee, which has kept him away from the cage since his victory over Ciryl Gane in January 2022, is better. The Cameroonian has turned the UFC page.

“I did nothing wrong. I made my decision based on my principles, explained the MMA star about his departure from the UFC. If I stick to my principles, I feel good at the end of the day. […] In the UFC, I felt like I had been slapped with money. Like a ‘Take the money and shut up’. It didn’t work with me.”

The reasons for his departure from the UFC

In his own words, he was offered $8 million for a three-fight deal with a potential extension to his time in the cage. Francis Ngannou, he wanted three fights including two against Jon Jones and another to finish his trilogy with Stipe Miocic. Beyond his schedule at the UFC, the Cameroonian has asked for improvements for all fighters by asking to have personal sponsors, life insurance and a lawyer to represent them during all meetings with the organization. Faced with the refusal of Dana White and the leaders, the native of Batié chose to leave.

“I just wanted them to know it was something I wanted and to think about it, chained the 36-year-old wrestler. They said no, they don’t know this kind of business. […] At this point, health insurance for me is not an issue, but what about the guys down there. They can’t really afford health insurance. And I’ve been at that level, so it’s something that I hold in my heart.”

Ngannou will watch ‘incredible’ Gane-Jones fight

While waiting to find out what his future will be like in the coming months, the Cameroonian said he was impatient to see Jon Jones and the Frenchman Ciryl Gane compete for his belt, the one he never lost in the octagon, at UFC 285 on March 4 in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be an incredible fight”, launched the one who remains on six consecutive victories in the UFC since November 2018. But Francis Ngannou did not forget to remind his two rivals who was the boss: “The undisputed champion is the!”

“Dana Can’t Hurt Me”

Criticized by Dana White after refusing to extend to the UFC, Francis Ngannou played appeasement with the boss of the American firm. A way to keep the door open for future collaboration.

“I don’t take any of this personally. I think I’ve come to a time in my life where I’m quiet, explained the fighter again. I’m overriding all of this. I’ve already seen so much in my life. life. And what I’ve also learned is never say never. Maybe I’ll have a boxing fight, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it has to be according to my terms.”

And the one who started his professional career in France to clarify: “Dana can’t hurt me. Saying things can’t hurt me. Where I come from, I’ve heard much worse than that and yet I’m still there.”

A return in the coming months… in boxing

Without being able to name the name of the boxer he could face, the Cameroonian fighter however admitted that he would dream of practicing the noble art with the linear heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, and the former world champion Anthony Joshua. Two potential prestigious fights which would also allow him to pocket a nice purse. Ditto for the American Deontay Wilder who would constitute an “interesting” rival for The Predator.

“I hope… it will be July at the latest. I hope. But at least this year. My gut tells me it will be boxing. A professional boxing fight. I still have to decide and I don’t know yet where or against whom. I’m working on it.”

As for other MMA organizations, Francis Ngannou confirmed “having been contacted by several” structures including the PFL, one of the main competitors of the UFC.