It has been less than a year since Francis Ngannou left the UFC, vacating his UFC heavyweight title. Since the fight in January 2022, Francis hasn’t fought in the cage due to his knee injury, and in between, the contract of the defending champion expired.
“Preadator” was always in the news after UFC 270, when he defeated Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision. It was always about how Ngannou would defend his title, which he won against Stipe Miocic. The 37-year-old put his stipulation forward while accepting the renewal of the UFC contract.
Ngannou opens up about his UFC departure.
After 1 year in his recovery period, the contract with Francis expired, and later Dana White and him couldn’t come to a conclusion. Though White did try to get Ngannou back, he looked uninterested in what the UFC was offering. The most notable issue for the former champion was when UFC introduced the rule of not allowing wearing sponsors in the cage.
When talking to NFL athlete Shannon Sharpe, he shed light on his desire to make a comeback in the UFC, but there was more to the issue than just his desire. Ngannou said, “It was a decision; if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have taken that decision.” At this stage of his career, the former heavyweight champ wanted to decide for himself.
Later, Cameroonians explain the situation to Sharpe. “The situation made me make that decision, but it wasn’t something that I was expecting or that I was thinking. I got to the point where I realized that for my best interest, I had to make the right decision for myself, and that was a good decision for myself.” via Lowkickmma.
Francis Ngannou outlines terms for the Jon Jones showdown.
The UFC president did try to play with words to bring Ngannou into the cage against his toughest fighter. Jon Jones. The 37-year-old told “Club Shannon Show” that “Well, I’ve been claiming this fight; I’m in the PFL; they can; we can do the same thing as they did with Floyd; but at this moment, the PFL needs to be involved.”
Later, “The Predator” confirmed he wanted to do the fight but was not going back to the UFC. He stated, “I’m willing to do that fight, but not to go back to the UFC.” The reason the former UFC champion doesn’t want to go to the UFC is that he will not have any power, whereas on the other hand, his new contract allows him to do that.
Within a few months, Francis was able to get the contract he was looking for. He signed PFLMMA, for whom he will fight in 2024, and they have given him the leverage to fight on another fighting roster other than MMA. That leverage allowed him to compete against Tyson Fury this year in October. It is believed that Ngannou made more than enough, which he didn’t expect from the UFC fights.
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