Dana White critical of PFL ‘burning cash’ to sign Francis Ngannou: ‘You’re going to pay a guy not to fight’

Dana White

Dana White thinks the PFL are fools for offering Francis Ngannou a truckload of cash for so little in return.

The former UFC heavyweight champion made waves this week, revealing that he had officially signed with the Professional Fighters League five months after becoming a free agent. Since then, MMA Twitter has been overflowing with fans and fighters sharing their thoughts on the groundbreaking deal that will see Ngannou cashing big fat checks while heading up the promotion’s PFL Africa expansion.

Stepping in front of the media for the first time since the PFL made its blockbuster announcement, Dana White shared his honest thoughts on Ngannou’s new deal. While he admitted to knowing very little of the details, he finds it odd that the company is essentially giving away the house for a fighter who won’t even step inside the Smart Cage for another year.

“Based on what I know about the deal, which is not much, it makes no sense to me,” White said at the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press event. “You’re going to pay a guy not to fight for a year and it’s already been like 18 months, he’s fought three times in the last 3 years.”

Dana White also stopped just short of suggesting that Francis Ngannou jumped ship because he’s afraid to fight Jon Jones, but he does believe ‘The Predator’ has no interest in taking risks that could potentially hurt his earning potential.

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“The day that we released him, I knew exactly what was going to happen. Francis wants to take zero risks,” White continued. “Doesn’t want to take any chances and he obviously didn’t want to take a chance against Jon Jones and after we saw what happened with Ciryl Gane, I don’t blame him. I think the outcome would have been exactly the same and I’m sure most of you do and I think Francis does too. And the media makes it sound like I’m saying that he’s afraid of him. I don’t think that he’s afraid of anybody, it’s just that he doesn’t want to take any risk (h/t Aaron Bronsteter).

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Dana White Comments on Francis Ngannou’s Boxing Endeavors and the PFL’s Rumored Acquisition of Bellator

Before Francis Ngannou steps inside the Smart Cage in 2024, he will attempt to cash in on a big-money boxing match. Names like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have been thrown around for months, but Dana White was a little skeptical as to whether Ngannou is a big enough name to lure the attention of a top-ranked boxer.

“PFL’s going to pay this guy to train for a boxing match that may not even happen and that they might not even be involved in. How does that make any sense? Francis could have done a deal here. Hunter threw the kitchen sink at that guy… Francis just thinks that he’s in a position where he’s got some Conor McGregor/Mayweather fight on his hands, which he does not…

“MMA guys versus boxers doesn’t make any sense to me, but I know that he thinks there’s all this money in it, I disagree… I’ve got no beef with the PFL. These guys have always been super professional and never talked any smack. You know me, if I don’t like you… I don’t hold back, I’ll let you have it.”

Dana White also touched on the recent rumors that the PFL is in the process of acquiring rival promotion Bellator MMA. Needless to say, the UFC President doesn’t see the potential $300 asking price as a sound investment. Particularly for a company that just emptied the bank account for a former heavyweight champion that hasn’t fought since January 2022.

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“I’m hearing that they’re raising money right now, $280 million, $300 million from the Middle East… I don’t know who in the hell would give them $280 million, I’m hearing they’re buying Bellator! So you’re an organization that’s burning cash, you have no ratings and selling no tickets and you’re going to raise $280 million to buy a company that’s burning cash, sells no tickets, and does no ratings. It sounds f*cking absolutely genius to me!”

What are your thoughts on Dana White’s comments?