An Update On The Francis Ngannou UFC Contract Dilemma

He has not fought since January.

Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the UFC are expected to reach an agreement. 

That’s at least what MMA reporter Ariel Helwani recently said.  

“Francis is about to become a free agent,” he said.  

“But I’m hearing that talks are actually pretty good. And you know, you saw Eric Nicksick, his coach referenced March 4, I’ve been saying this. How long have I been saying if they couldn’t get a fight in December for Jones, the March early pay-per-view was when they were going to try to do Jones?  

“The newest stuff is that he’s no longer, Francis, represented by CAA. That opens the door to Endeavor wanting to do business.” 

Ngannou hasn’t fought in nearly a year when he last defeated Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision.  

Leading up to that fight, his first title defense, Ngannou publicly expressed how unhappy he was with the UFC and that if they want to resign him, they will have to amend his pay as well as allow him to have an option to box; he said he wanted to fight either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder. 

At the time, UFC President Dana White told Ngannou via press that if he wants a new, adjusted contract, he would have to get through Gane first.  

That’s what he did – and he did it in comeback fashion. Gane looked like he had gotten an advantage over the Cameroonian fighter, but Ngannou put his wrestling skills on display and turned the bout over in his favor. 

The victory extended his contract for either three fights or one year. 

He has, however, been sidelined for the whole year for a knee injury he sustained weeks prior to the bout. His team told the media that they would negotiate new terms while their fighter was out. 

In September, Ngannou was still without a new contract, but said that he was “not going anywhere. 

Now, Ngannou is rumored to be connected with fighting Jon Jones in his heavyweight debut. 

“I feel right now very confident that he’s going to resign. Plus, there’s no Fury fight out there. Unless Fury gets on the mic on Saturday after beating Chisora for the third time, which we all expect is going to happen, and says, Francis, where are you at?  

“It doesn’t seem like Fury is into that anymore, right? He has this change of heart,” Helwani added. “He wants to fight. He wants big fights. He wants to keep going. I would be shocked. Where’s Francis going? Where’s he going? Doesn’t have the leverage that maybe we thought he did.” 

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