Randy Couture Proud Of Francis Ngannou’s Decision, Claims To Not Have Any Input On Move

Francis Ngannou isn’t the first fighter to have been at odds with the UFC.

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture had a similar experience with the promotion. During an interview with MMA News, he revealed how he felt about the former UFC heavyweight’s departure, who trains at his gym.

“We’ve heard a few athletes at that level, those marquee guys, top three to five percent of the sport chirping about fighter pay and the lack of transparency, certainly with the UFC,” Couture said.

“Something I’ve been chirping about for quite some time with little or no backing or anybody else that agreed with my stance…Francis stood up for himself. Obviously, he trains at my gym, but I had no conversation with him. I certainly talked with [Coach Eric Nicksick] about this situation and how I saw it.

“I’m glad he stuck to his guns, I think the UFC stepped up in the amount of money that they were willing to give him to re-sign a contract, and I think the other things that Francis asked for weren’t out of the question. They were reasonable things. Things that any other athlete in any other sport in our society would be getting. But, the fact that the UFC wasn’t willing to meet him there, they dropped him…

“I’m hoping that the PFL jumps all over Francis and signs him, he’d be a great addition to the heavyweight division,” Couture continued.

Last month, Ngannou posted a photo on social media and a woman, who was later identified as his mother, wore a PFL shirt, which led the MMA community to believe that he had signed with the promotion.

Ngannou, however, clarified days later after his exit that he didn’t even notice her wearing that shirt and that it was a coincidence.

Still, the speculations still stand.

As for Ngannou’s decision to leave, Couture said he didn’t purposely direct his decision.

“I didn’t have any input there other than the talks I had with Eric,” Couture said. “He’s the one directly related in coaching Francis and helps Francis certainly on the technical side. I’m not sure who exactly manages Francis, honestly, and I never talked to his management. His management would be the people negotiating for him with Dana White and Zuffa…

“Any input I had, was my dealing with Dana and the company back in the day, that was never directly with Francis, that was just with Eric. So that’s the extent of it as far as I’m concerned. I was happy he was standing up for himself and doing what he felt he needed to do to get a fair shake, and get his piece in the marketplace for what he’s brought to the UFC.”

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