Francis Ngannou is no longer a part of the UFC. Recently, UFC President Dana White announced that UFC heavyweight champion, Ngannou is no longer with the promotion. As such, the Cameroonian-French fighter was also stripped of his title.
In the latest edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Ngannou’s coach, Eric Nicksick revealed that the two parties failed to come to terms on a new contract. However, he clarifies that the UFC offered Ngannou good money but was unable to fulfill his other contractual demands.
The news of Ngannou leaving the UFC was definitely a shock to many fans. Additionally, Eric also spoke about meeting with Dana White and Hunter Campbell after beating Cyril Gane at UFC 270. As such, he explains why Ngannou did not sign a new contract.
He states, “After the fight, we had a great dinner, and things were going in the right direction. We got in the car, and Francis looks over at me and says, ‘If I sign this deal, if I do this without making any change, without doing all the things that I said I was going to do, I’m just another sell-out, and I refuse to do that.”
According to coach Nicksick, Ngannou is grateful for all the money he has made. Thus, he would now prefer to use his position to take a stance and make a difference. Previously, Ngannou was firm in his stance that he wanted the UFC to allow him to compete in boxing as well. Furthermore, Francis was always very vocal about better fighter pay and healthcare benefits for UFC athletes.
What is next for Francis Ngannou?
Ever since his departure from the UFC was confirmed, we have seen a whole host of possibilities open up for Ngannou. Whilst a step into the boxing ring against Tyson Fury has been widely teased, there are other possibilities as well. Most recently, Ngannou seemingly teased a move to the PFL.
However, coach Eric Nicksick recently teased that ONE Championship could bring the level of competition Francis needs. He states, “ONE FC have a lot of depth in their heavyweight division. I think the PFL does as well… Outside of the UFC, to me it’s probably ONE. Bellator has some names, of course, and I think you could make some matchups there. I think talent wise, depth and talent, it’s ONE in my opinion.”
With that said, it is possible that Ngannou may feel more tempered by what the PFL has to offer. Recently, the PFL made a big statement after signing up influencer and boxer Jake Paul. Paul, who is better known for his recent boxing shenanigans, also introduced the PPV Division, where fighters will make 50% of the revenue.
Previously, Jake and Francis also agreed on fighter pay disparity as well. With Ngannou now a free agent and very clear with what he wants, ‘The Problem Child’ may well have a proposition that suits all parties. However, he will have to move quickly, as BKFC boss David Feldman is also interested in Ngannou’s services.
Where do you think Ngannou will fight next? Will it be boxing, the PFL, ONE FC, or the BKFC? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.