Francis Ngannou rails against the inability of fighters to control UFC.


As Francis Ngannou continues to rehabilitate his surgically-repaired knee, he still hasn’t engaged in any meaningful dialogue to remain with the promotion beyond his current deal, which is expected to expire at the end of 2022.

While it might be strange considering the UFC’s heavyweight champion, that’s understandable. He expects more conversations with the promotion to take place in the near future. His goal is to fight in early 2023..

“I believe we aren’t in a hurry,” Ngannou said MMA to Sirius XM radio. “I’m not in a rush either. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not rushing. We have the entire time .”

A large part of Ngannou’s requests for UFC deals revolve around the ability to seek fights outside of the octagon. This includes a possible matchup against Tyson Fury, heavyweight boxing champ. This is the headline that Ngannou uses to talk about his contract. But in reality, he says there are a multitude of issues that need to be addressed; namely, a lopsided power dynamic between fighters and the UFC.

“When you look at the sport, you think everything is perfect? Ngannou stated that he doesn’t believe everything is perfect. Over time I realized that there are many issues that could be solved. At some point I felt frustrated because I felt unprotected. This is the exact same situation all fighters find themselves in. The UFC should consider how fighters are treated. Sponsorships, I think fighters should also have the right to put a sponsor on their shirt, not just for the company to make money out of it. Why not? They are not making money out of it.

“I can understand why they are trying to clean up the sport, and [to] should not allow any sponsor to get in the octagon. [to] Let any brand or sponsor that is not appealing get in the octagon. But we need to have a way to approve sponsors and to ensure that you bring an advertiser inside [the UFC] so that it makes money.

” I’m certain that over time, UFC fighters are losing a lot more power. The company is getting big, getting stronger, and we have no power.”

Ngannou doesn’t believe the UFC is being purposefully malicious towards fighters, but he would like to see more athlete representation involved in decisions being made to give them a voice in the room.

” We have no one to represent us in the room, making decisions. Nobody cares about the fighters even though they are 700. They should think about having someone to represent fighters. Although I doubt they are making all the decisions that harm fighters, sometimes they just don’t understand their position.

” If we have fighter representation at their board meetings we’ll be like, “OK guys, think about fighters” – to remind them that sometimes it’s a bit better. It’s possible to change many things, and who could be wrong? The fighter pay, that’s a huge problem that everyone’s aware of, and it seems like we keep rolling like nothing is going on. The health insurance, the same problem. I would like to see some of those solved.”

That Ngannou currently holds the UFC heavyweight title on the precipice of being a free agent gives him some leverage when he goes back into negotiations for his next contract.

There’s no way to know what the future holds, but Ngannou is certain that he won’t find himself in the same place as before.

“I’ve gone through everything, and my goal is to not go through the same thing again,” Ngannou stated. “If there is anything I can do to stop that from happening to any other person, whether they are related or not, then I will.

“Let’s make this sport the best sport. A lot of people fight for this sport in order for it to be what it is today, and I think for us, it’s also our duty to do something to leave a better sport to the next generation.”