Why Did Francis Ngannou Leave the UFC?

Swapnil Rajwade
|Published 05/03/2023

UFC is the biggest organization in the world when it comes to Mixed Martial Arts. Dana White, the president of the UFC, has been around since day 1 and is running the show for almost 30 years now. Some fighters in the UFC have turned into stars like Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz, GSP etc. Once a fighter breaks through and gets famous, he brings in more eyes to the sport. These fighters are on UFC contracts, but often feel midway that they deserve more than what they are being paid for. Something similar happened with Francis Ngannou, leading him to leave the UFC?

Ngannou was the heavyweight champion of the world. The predator defended his belt in his last fight in the UFC against Cyril Gane at UFC 270.

Also read: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler: Will the Winner Get a Title Shot Next?

Why Did Francis Ngannou Leave UFC?

The UFC released Ngannou from the roster at the start of the year. For many fans and followers of the sport, this came as a shock. UFC fans knew that Ngannou and the UFC were in hard contract negotiations. However, the decision was still a surprise to everyone.

The Predator made an appearance on The MMA HOUR with Ariel Helwani. Ngannou gave the details about the negotiations and told Helwani what all did not make sense to him.

Francis Ngannou on the show confirmed that he wanted a new three fight deal with the UFC. In this deal, he would have been offered around $8 million to fight Jon Jones in his return fight for the heavyweight championship of the world.

In this three fight deal his plan was to fight Jon Jones for the belt, then do a trilogy with Stipe Miocic as they are 1-1 in their last two fights with each other. He then wanted to face Jones again in a rematch and go his own way after that fight.

The UFC however did not agree to this, and nor did Francis Ngannou agree to what the UFC wanted.

“I know that I did everything right, “I don’t have any regrets, ‘I wouldn’t do anything different if I had to do it again” – Francis Ngannou on The MMA HOUR.

UFC’S Heavyweight Division now:

Francis Ngannou, the former champ, has gone in a different direction with his fighting career. However, the division still seems as interesting as it was. The return of the GOAT at UFC 285 has got all the eyes on the division back.

Jon Jones went on to beat Cyril Gane in the first round at UFC 285 via submission. It looked pretty easy for Jones, as he is now the new heavyweight champion. Jon Jones called out Stipe Miocic next. The fight would be interesting as both Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones are well-rounded fighters.

Some of the top contenders in the heavyweight division are Sergei Pavlovich, Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa, Tom Aspinall. It will be interesting to see who rises up to the challenge and faces the winner of Jones vs Stipe.

Who do you think will be the next champ at heavyweight?

Also Read: UFC 285: Jon Jones vs. Cyril Gane- How Much Does the Ticket Cost?

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