Francis Ngannou’s Team To Negotiate Contract While UFC Champion Recovers
Francis Ngannou is set to have his knee surgery this week.
The current heavyweight champion will be going under procedure to repair his torn MCL and damaged ACL, which he reportedly injured prior to his main event at UFC 270 against Ciryl Gane. It’ll sideline the champion for about nine months, but his manager Marquel Martin said they’ll be using the time to negotiate Ngannou’s contract with the UFC.
The Cameroonian fighter has expressed his dissatisfaction with the UFC as well as with his contract.
He has been calling on the promotion to increase fighter pay; he was paid $600,000 in his last fight compared to boxers who get paid millions of dollars, like heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, for example.
While discussing his contract, Ngannou mentioned he wanted the option to box on his contract so he may match up with either Fury or Deontay Wilder. Fury, the reigning WBC heavyweight titleholder, responded to the challenge and has said he’s all for it.
Since Ngannou won his last fight, it extended his current contract with the UFC for three fights or one year. If he doesn’t book another fight within the year, he could be a free agent by 2023.
But UFC President Dana White – who has had issues with Ngannou and his team – previously said that he’s “hopeful and confident” that they can come to terms with a deal to keep Ngannou in the promotion.