Francis Ngannou Opens Up About UFC Exit, Jon Jones Still Thinks They’ll Fight One Day

Ngannou was released over the weekend.

Francis Ngannou has spoken for the first time since news of his exit from the UFC. 

And in his comments, he tried to paint the whole picture of which UFC President Dana White supposedly chose certain parts from.  

“I hear them talking about money. Obviously, money is a part of it, but it wasn’t all about money. I need some stuff. And they would never talk about those stuff. It’s very interesting how they kind of pick what they’re gonna talk about. They don’t talk about what the negotiation was about,” Ngannou said on “The MMA Hour.” 

“They just talk about the money that they (offered) me that could’ve made me the biggest-paid heavyweight in the history, which is how much? They can’t tell. Biggest than who? Nobody knows what (anybody) gets. So it’s all their narrative. They control that narrative which cannot be proven. So I don’t believe that, but I wish it could’ve worked. I really do, and I really wanted (it to), but not at any cost.” 

Later reports said that since Ngannou turned it down, the UFC is making Jon Jones the “highest paid” heavyweight. He is making his heavyweight debut against former interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. 

Jones, the former long-reigning light heavyweight champion, however, said that he still has hope to give the fans what they want. 

“I’m happy for Francis,” Jones told Sports Illustrated.  

“I’m glad that Francis knows his worth. No man has a right to shame another man for fighting for his worth. I was in a very similar situation as Francis as a light heavyweight. I was never happy with my salary. I had to sit out three years, and I missed a lot of time, but now we’re here. I encourage Francis on his journey, and I wish him all the best. Another company is going to be truly blessed to have him.” 

“I do believe my paths will cross with Francis,” Jones said. “Dana White always gives the fans what they want to see, and a Jon Jones-Francis Ngannou fight will always be a fight of interest. So I’m not counting it out. I’ll keep an eye on Francis.” 

It’s unclear what Ngannou’s next move is. Before leaving the UFC, Ngannou posted a photo on social media, which showed a woman – later revealed to be his mother – wearing a PFL shirt, causing many media outlets to speculate that there’s where he’s heading next. 

But Ngannou said, it’s nothing like that. 

“You won’t believe me, (but) I didn’t even notice that she had a PFL t-shirt on,” Ngannou said.  

“And I didn’t even know where she got that t-shirt from, I swear to God. I just found out on social media, some sort of speculation. And I’m like, ‘Damn, what’s going on?’ [LAUGHS] I didn’t know at all. That was like random, completely random.” 

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