Francis Ngannou Won’t Fight In UFC Again Until New Deal Is Struck
Francis Ngannou is sitting firm on getting a new deal with the UFC – otherwise, he’s willing to sit out the rest of 2022.
Ngannou told ESPN on Thursday that he believes after he faces interim champion Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight title unifier, that his current contract will be fulfilled. A win on January 22 would impose a champion’s clause, but either way, he wants things to change.
“No, I will not fight for $500,000, $600,000 anymore,” Ngannou said.
“I mean, it’s over. It’s over. I just did this. I took this fight for a personal reason, and I want to make sure that regardless, even if it’s unfair, I have been wrongly treated, I can make my case to say I have completed the eight fights. But no.”
His appearance next Saturday versus Gane will be his eighth appearance on an eight-fight deal he signed in December 2017. If he loses, he would become a restricted free agent with a 90-day exclusivity period to negotiate outside of the UFC.
But, if he wins, he would be subject to a champion’s clause in his contract, which would keep him in contract for either three fights or one year.
“That all makes me think it’s optional,” Ngannou said.
If Ngannou wins and chooses to hold out on any fight, it’s unclear when the contract would legally end.
Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin told ESPN that they’ve been unable to strike a new deal. UFC President Dana White and Martin have had public disagreements.
However, the new deal must include an option to box, Ngannou previously said. The heavyweight champion and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury have allowed traded words over social media, verbally agreeing to a crossover fight.
Still, Ngannou is unclear about the UFC’s stance.
“Sometimes, I might say yes, sometimes, I don’t know,” he said.