The UFC and Francis Ngannou haven’t moved forward on a new deal, and UFC president Dana White doesn’t sound optimistic.
Ngannou is slated to face Ciryl Gane for the unified heavyweight title in the upcoming UFC 270 main event. But Ngannou may be fighting for more than just a successful title defense to begin the new year.
The heavyweight champion is fighting on the last bout on his current contract as negotiations appear to be headed nowhere. White has been at odds with Ngannou’s management, more specifically Marquel Martin, for months.
Ngannou has blossomed into one of the biggest stars in the promotion after his knockout over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. But during a recent interview with ESPN, White said Ngannou’s time with the UFC could be numbered.
“These things happen,” White said of Ngannou. “Sometimes you don’t always come to terms with people. When you’re a fighter, you have to be careful who represents you. I don’t think he’s had the best representation.
“Look, if you want to be with us, we’d love to have you. If you don’t want to be with us, no problem. It’s all good.
“I think his contract, and this is off the top of my head, if he wins he still has time with us after this fight. He’d probably have one more fight.”
Dana White, Francis Ngannou Have Had A Complicated Relationship
This isn’t the first time that White and Ngannou’s sides haven’t seen eye-to-eye. Ngannou has been critical of the promotion’s treatment of its fighters, and more specifically the controversial fighter pay issue.
It was a surprise to many around the sport when the UFC opted to make an interim heavyweight title bout between Gane and Derrick Lewis. This happened at UFC 265, just months after Ngannou became the new heavyweight champion.
It would be surprising if White and the UFC decide to move on from Ngannou, especially if he loses to Gane and enters free agency. This would eliminate potential high-stakes fights with Jon Jones, a trilogy bout against Miocic, and other big potential fights in the heavyweight division.
Do you think the UFC will sign Francis Ngannou to a long-term deal?
Posted from Source