Francis Ngannou and the UFC have not been in a smooth relationship in recent times. The reigning heavyweight champion has openly expressed his distaste towards his current contract with the mixed martial arts top drawer promotion and declined to sign a contract extension last year claiming a lowball offer and currently has one fight left on his contract- his upcoming title unification against interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. With his future in the UFC currently up in uncertainty, Ngannou has admitted that he will never enter the Octagon on his current contract.
I will not fight for $500,000 or $600,000 anymore: Francis Ngannou
Aside from the UFC being involved in multiple accusations regarding low pay for the fighters, but the situation regarding Francis Ngannou is first of its kind in the promotion. Ever since Ngannou signed an eight-fight deal back in 2017, him and the company both have failed to come to terms several times in the past regarding a contract renewal.
Ngannou, who has only one fight remaining in his current UFC contract- the UFC 270 showdown against Ciryl Gane on 22nd January, has warned to not fight as he believes tat he is very underpaid under Dana White’s promotion.
“No,” Ngannou said in an interview with ESPN, regarding his future under the current UFC deal, “I will not fight for $500,000 [or] $600,000 anymore. It’s over. I took this fight for personal reasons, because I want to make sure that regardless of [whether] it’s fair, I can make my case that I have completed the fights.”
A loss against Gane would make Ngannou a restricted free agent and after a 90-day period would be allowed to negotiate outside the UFC. If he defeats Gane, Ngannou would be subject to a champion’s clause- automatically putting him under contract for three fights or one year, whichever comes first. However, as “The Predator” states, he would not be accepting any fights under his current contract.
Dana White himself spoke his mind regarding the Ngannou situation last month, hinting that if both sides aren’t able to come to terms then he would not hesitate to part ways with the French Cameroonian fighter.
“You don’t always come to terms with people,” White stated to ESPN in December, “Listen, if you want to be with us, we’d love to have you. If you don’t want to be with us, no problem. All good.”
Aside from the distaste about his current UFC contract, Ngannou has also expressed his wish to switch to professional boxing in the future and is heavily speculated that he may have his first encounter in the squared circle against none other than Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight titleholder. Even though there have been cracks in his relationship with the promotion, Ngannou wishes the UFC to be a part of his future as a pugilist.
“100 percent,” said Ngannou about his need to box, “We’ve been having discussions for years. It seems like they are OK with it. Let’s be honest, I do believe that whatever you are doing — whatever the event is — if the UFC is involved, it’s just going to make it bigger. There is no question. So, yes, if I box, I would like the UFC to be on board. Honestly, the only reason we are here is that at some point, there wasn’t good faith in this. I don’t understand why we can’t come to an agreement.”
- UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou says he won’t fight in the UFC under his current contract
- The two sides have failed to come to terms regarding a contract extension and Ngannou claims to be heavily underpaid
- Ngannou only has one fight left on his current contract- the upcoming UFC 270 bout against interim champion Ciryl Gane
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