Francis Ngannou explains some of the grievances he currently has with the UFC.
It’s no secret that heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the UFC have been at odds lately. Ongoing contract negotiations have been a problem for Ngannou lately and have led to an uncertain future with the organization. Since winning the UFC heavyweight title, Ngannou has applied for a new UFC contract without much progress. Now, Ngannou is giving a bit more insight into what happened between him and the UFC brass and where he would like things to end when all is said and done.
Ngannou won the heavyweight title in March 2021. After the win, negotiations started and then stalled. The UFC wanted Ngannou to face Jon Jones, but both Jones and Ngannou had contract issues, the UFC then set up an interim title and Ngannou was put on the back burner. He finally fought back and unified the title with a win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 and has been out injured ever since.
Ngannou has spoken of his desire to switch to boxing. He mentioned that he would like to see this freedom added to his contract. He now claims it’s a non-starter for him, and as of yet, he hasn’t heard any updates from the UFC in that regard.
“My contract status at the moment is the same. I haven’t received any offers. So it has remained the same. Hopefully in the next three months, two to three months, we can deal with it. For solve this,” he said on the MMA on the Sirius XM Podcast.
“[The UFC] gets stronger and [the fighters] have no power.”
Amid contract negotiations, UFC HW champ @francis_ngannou discusses potential obstacles between him and the promotion.
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) September 16, 2022
Ngannou would also like to see some changes made within the UFC that can benefit all fighters on the roster. He has been a strong advocate for increased pay for fighters and is now calling on the UFC to allow fighters to show their endorsements on their fight kits. The UFC removed individual sponsorships when they brought in Reebok to manufacture the Unified Fight Kits. At the time, many fighters were upset by this and many claimed to have lost a lot of money in trades.
“I was frustrated at one point, why? Because I don’t feel protected, which is exactly the situation we all fighters find ourselves in,” he said. “You know, I would like the UFC to consider the opposition in a lot of things now about fighters, sponsorship, I think fighters should also have the right to put sponsorship on your shirt, not just so that the company makes money out of it.”
Ngannou recently said he lost $1 million when the UFC brought in a crypto sponsor, a deal with Crypto.com that didn’t directly benefit the fighters themselves.
“I feel like over time, the UFC fighter, we lose a lot of power. The company is growing, getting stronger and we have no power,” he said.
Ngannou says he is in no rush to reach a deal and can wait another two or three months.