Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who officially left the world’s strongest league, spoke about the circumstances that led to his departure from the organization.
“They say that if I signed a new contract, I would become the highest paid heavyweight in the history of the UFC, but is this true?” The Cameroonian heavyweight said in the next edition of the MMA Hour program. “I don’t know how much they paid other heavyweights, it can’t be verified, so I don’t believe it. Brock Lesnar is said to have received eight million dollars for the fight with Mark Hunt? I wasn’t offered that much to fight Jon Jones.”
According to The Predator, he doesn’t hold a grudge against UFC President Dan White, who, when informing reporters of his departure, hinted that he was afraid to fight Jon Jones and is looking for easier opponents.
“As for everything else, I was not at all hurt by the words of Dan White that I do not want to risk looking for weaker opponents. Dana is Dana. I think he said it because he was upset because things didn’t go the way he expected. His champion is gone – reality has shattered his expectations.
Ngannou also revealed some details of the negotiation process with the UFC, in particular, saying that he did not require the inclusion of a boxing match clause in the new contract.
“I asked for a contract for three fights without renewal, they agreed, they said that they would make an exception for me. I wanted to fight Jon Jones, Stipe Miocic, and Jon Jones again. I was hoping two out of three fights would be against Jon Jones.”
“That was the only concession they made, and they refused to discuss the rest of my conditions, including working with sponsors, expanding health insurance, legal protection, all of which I demanded not only for myself, but also for the rest of the fighters of the organization. And they didn’t want to have anything to do with boxing, but I didn’t push it. I could work out a contract for three fights in one year, and then fight according to the rules of boxing. Three fights, this is a maximum of fifteen months, so it was not a matter of principle.
As for the wording about his dismissal from the UFC, the Cameroonian does not consider it correct, since he has been officially a free agent for more than a month now.
“No one fired me. I was free already on December 9th or 13th, but I did not expand on this out of respect, because we had a dialogue that we carried on until last Tuesday. For the same reason, I did not consider third-party offers, although I was a free agent and could do it.
At the same time, the former UFC champion has gone from a direct answer to the question of what his plan is and where he plans to continue his career.
“Ideally, I would like to have a boxing match and then return to MMA, depending on what the opportunities are. In these few days I have received many offers, mostly from mma promotions, but I am not in a hurry with this – everything has its time. If I’m going to box, it has to be Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.”
Recall that the vacant UFC heavyweight championship belt, vacated by Francis Ngannou, will be played by Jon Jones and Cyril Gun on March 4 at UFC 285 in Las Vegas.