Georges St-Pierre Tells Francis Ngannou He ‘Needs To Be Paid His Value,’ Consider Free Agency
Georges St-Pierre thinks it’d be best for Francis Ngannou to test the waters.
St-Pierre said in a recent interview with The MMA Hour that Ngannou, the current heavyweight champion, should become a free agent to find somewhere that will pay him what he’s worth. Ngannou and his team have been at a standstill with his UFC contract since before his first successful title defense against Ciryl Gane in January.
“I’m telling him as a friend, he needs to get paid to his value. And if he’s not satisfied with what the UFC gives him, go get your service somewhere else where they’re gonna pay you well, because he’s not young,” St-Pierre said.
“He’s coming to a point that, he’s a heavyweight, but heavyweight, you never know what can happen. One punch can change the fight. It’s very rare that you see a heavyweight staying champion for a long time because of that reason.
“So he needs to get paid. He needs to go somewhere where he’s gonna be paid to what he’s worth, and if the UFC are not ready to do this, now he has the power on his side.”
Ngannou and his issues with his contract came up weeks leading up to his unification fight with Gane.
The Cameroonian fighter made it clear that he wants a new contract that would include a higher pay day – more than $600,000 – and an option to box. When Ngannou was going public about this, UFC President Dana White – who previously had a rocky relationship with Ngannou’s manager – said Ngannou should win first before making the request.
Since Ngannou won by unanimous decision, that extended his current contract to either three fights or one year. However, it’s unclear when he will fight next since he is sidelined for likely nine months, recovering from surgery on both of his knees.
White said he is confident that he and Ngannou’s team will come to terms on a new contract. Ngannou’s manager said they will take this time to negotiate a new contract for the heavyweight champion.
The Cameroonian’s persistence on increased fighter pay has encouraged other fighters ask for more. Fighters like Jorge Masvidal and Israel Adesanya are the latest to sign lucrative contract extensions.
“He can negotiate now, because of his contract. I believe he’s in a very good position right now,” St-Pierre added.
“I heard he fought with a knee injury. That’s crazy. He took an enormous risk and now it has to pay off. Things need to pay him, life needs to pay him back.”