Cameroon’s Francis Ngannou stepped away from the UFC, vacating the heavyweight throne, earlier this year. After months of tense negotiations, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement. Ngannou captured the heavyweight crown with a knockout win over Stipe Miocic. He then defended the UFC heavyweight world title against his former training partner Ciryl Gane.
While Ngannou explained that he was interested in trying his hand at boxing, it wasn’t just about that or the money. The 36-year-old athlete cited that he was advocating for fighters to have sponsors, health insurance, and an advocate at the UFC’s head table. Reportedly, Ngannou was offered over an $8 Million per fight contract with the UFC.
Dana White says Francis Ngannou is not coming back
At UFC 285, the vacant heavyweight crown will find a king between all-time great Jon Jones and former interim champion Ciryl Gane. Ahead of UFC 285, Dana White spoke in a press conference and explained that Francis Ngannou is never coming back to the UFC. The UFC president said:
“No, no. We negotiated with him for years. It’s over, that’s over. He’ll never be in the UFC again … Yeah, I never say never, but I’ll give you a never on that one. We tried.” [Transcript courtesy of MMA Junkie]
Ngannou is currently juggling offers from various different boxing promoters and MMA organizations. Combat sports fans around the world are looking forward to seeing what Francis Ngannou’s next move will be.
See the full media scrum with Dana White below: