Francis Ngannou Leaves UFC, Citing Disatisfaction with Pay
Over the weekend it was announced that UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is leaving the world’s leading MMA organization. The 35-year-old became champion in the heavyweight division after knocking out former champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Former UFC champion Jon Jones will take on the top-ranked heavyweight Ciryl Gane for the vacant title on March 4th at UFC 285. During the weekend’s press conference after UFC Vegas 67, UFC president Dana White revealed why Ngannou chose to leave the MMA organization.
“We’ve come to this point and I’ve said it before, if you don’t want to be here, you don’t have to be here,” White said. “I think Francis is at a place where he doesn’t want to take too many risks. He feels like he has a good position where he can fight less tough opponents for more money.
“We’re going to let him do that, we’re going to release him despite his contract. We’re going to break the contract and he’s free to do whatever he wants.”
Ngannou has long been dissatisfied with his salary in UFC and has often expressed that he thinks UFC fighters should earn more money. It is not yet clear what Ngannou will do next. The former UFC champion has previously expressed that he would like to fight Tyson Fury in a boxing match. According to UFC president, MMA organization offered Francis Ngannou a new contract. The new contract would have meant that he became the best-paid heavyweight in UFC’s history. But Ngannou rejected the lucrative contract. Ngannou fought a total of 14 matches in UFC, he won 12 and lost 2.