Francis Ngannou has opened up on his failure to reach a deal with UFC. And the reasons he’s cited paint a pretty bad picture of the MMA promotion, given that his demands were well within the boundaries of reasonability.
UFC president Dana White shocked fans on Saturday when he revealed he was stripping Ngannou of the heavyweight title and releasing the fighter so he could become a free agent.
“We are going to release (Francis Ngannou) from his contract,” White said. We are giving up the right to match. He can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.”
What Did Francis Ngannou Want From UFC?
Ngannou, meanwhile, was interviewed by MMA reporter Arial Helwani on his MMA Hour show this Tuesday and revealed he was offered around $8 million to fight Jon Jones but refused it as all of his contractual demands were shot down.
The 36-year-old told Helwani he tried negotiating for health insurance for all fighters, as well as the right to sign sponsorship deals and a fighter advocate on the board but was told that’s not the way the company does business.
The mixed martial artist explained that, while he is now in a position to pay his own health insurance, the fighters hanging onto the company’s lower rungs cannot. “I’ve been there,” he said.
The Cameroonian-Frenchman insisted he’s at peace with his decision, saying he needed “respect, dignity, and wanted to feel like a man.”