UFC (DR) / @thenotoriousmma
Francis Ngannou is no longer a UFC champion since this weekend, he is now the most coveted free agent in the history of combat sports. Before leaving, he still wanted to explain himself one last time with Dana White, and he would have dropped an explosive sentence on all the big stars of the organization, including his friends Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya.
After two years of war with Dana White and the UFC, Francis Ngannou is officially a free agent. When he could have become highest paid heavyweight in MMA historywith a new contract worth several million dollars, the Cameroonian has decided to follow his convictions and remain faithful to the values he has been advocating since the start of this media conflict.
As a reminder, the Predator was simply asking its former employers to be more clear on the status of the fighters. If they are independents, as UFC management claims, they should be able to negotiate with multiple organizations and make money with their own sponsors. If the organization wants exclusivity, it should set up benefits as simple as a mutual. Because these criteria were not heard, Francis Ngannou preferred to leave.
Francis Ngannou reassembled against the other UFC champions
Obviously he regrets the fact of being alone in this process, of being the only champion to stand up to the almighty Dana White. In any case, this is what his trainer Eric Nicksick explained during an interview with the radio. MMA on SiriusXM. The former champion would have dropped a rather explosive sentence before leaving, which indirectly criticized all the other big names:
I was at dinner with Francis, Dana White and Hunter Campbell (Dana White’s right-hand man and important UFC decision-maker, editor’s note), and I drove home with Francis. The sums they were swinging during this meal, honestly, everyone would have been impressed and would have accepted. But that’s why I love Francis Ngannou.
He looked me in the eye and said, “If I sign this contract, I’m just another sellout in the UFC.” I wouldn’t have changed anything in the business, I wouldn’t have made any difference for future generations, all the values I advocate would be ruined. I would be no better than anyone who accepted. I prefer to take less money but help young people who are rising. For him it’s not a question of money.
According to Francis Ngannou, there would be many sellouts in the UFC, who would deny their human values to remain in Dana White’s small papers and who would abandon certain claims for a good salary. No names are mentioned, but it seems pretty clear that all the superstars are targeted, including his friends Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya. It remains to be seen whether his gesture will bear fruit in the future.
Francis Ngannou knows he might get less money if he leaves the UFC, but he didn’t want to give up his values and his desire to make MMA a fairer discipline. He is convinced that his departure could have a positive impact on future generations, and he cannot turn his back on this ambition.