Francis Ngannou says after UFC 270 he will not fight for the UFC again under current contract

Ten months after he won the UFC heavyweight title Francis Ngannou is preparing for the first title defense of his career, and it’ll come as a unification fight against his former teammate and interim champion, Ciryl Gane next weekend at UFC 270. With the unification title fight quickly approaching, there has been plenty of talk on the future of Ngannou with the UFC, and that future continues to be cloudy and unknown.

With it becoming knowledge that Francis Ngannou will be entering UFC 270 on the final fight of his contract, there has been a public feud between the champion’s team and UFC President Dana White. When initially asked about where things stand between the promotion and the UFC heavyweight champion, White seemingly left the door open for a Ngannou departure, suggesting if he wasn’t satisfied with his deal, the two sides could go their separate ways.

In response to White, Ngannou’s agent Marquel Martin went on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation and explained that the dispute between both sides is not all about money. Following up his agent, Ngannou went on record to say he’d like there to be a boxing clause in his next UFC contract, which could be a lucrative deal for him if he was able to lure one of the big heavyweight boxing superstars for a crossover fight.

On Thursday, the situation between Francis Ngannou and the UFC got a bit more intense, with the current champion making it known, he won’t continue on his current deal past UFC 270. Speaking to Brett Okamoto of ESPN on Thursday, Ngannou laid out his stance in full, saying he will not continue to compete and make the current pay that he is making, which is around $500,000 or more, which is a much higher contract than most fighters on the UFC roster.

“No, 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 it’s fair, I can make my case that I have completed the fights.”

Back in 2017 Ngannou signed an eight-fight contract with the UFC that began in 2018 and he started off on a two-fight skid but has gone on to win five consecutive fights, including winning the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic back at UFC 260 last March.  If a new deal is not reached before he faces Gane at UFC 270, Ngannou will become a restricted free agent immediately following the conclusion of his fight.

Looking to make big moves with his next deal, Ngannou told ESPN that one of the biggest focus points on his new contract is to have a clause that will allow him to box, a move that would be lucrative for both him and the UFC.

“100 percent, I need to box. We’ve been having discussions for years. It seems like they’re okay 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.”

Francis Ngannou shouldn’t be criticized because he’s searching for more lucrative pay and the opportunity to box under his next UFC contract. One of the most famous knockout artists in the promotion, with a story of triumph and overcoming adversity, the UFC and Ngannou should be on the same page when it comes to respect, promotion, and everything else involved with their relationship.

Ngannou’s team did go on to express optimism in getting a deal done in the future with the UFC, but he’s looking to have his stipulations met in his next deal. Recently, Ngannou was called out by boxing champion Tyson Fury, and the UFC champion said he’d be open to a fight, after his contracted fight at UFC 270.

The UFC heavyweight champion has become one of the most popular fighters in the world under the UFC, and with this rare contract dispute taking up a lot of the attention, it’ll be interesting to see how the unification fight between him and his former teammate goes down next weekend.

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Mike Pendleton
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his "On The Mic" podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM's Fight Nation. With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike's work across his multiple outlets. Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310