UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou revealed that his contract grievances with the UFC have not been worked out.
After knocking out Stipe Miocic to capture the heavyweight title at UFC 260, ‘The Predator’ engaged in a very public spat with his employer over what he felt were unfavorable conditions with his UFC contract. After nearly a year of back-and-forth between himself and Dana White in the media, Francis Ngannou returned to the Octagon, successfully defending his title for the first time against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
With Francis Ngannou undergoing knee surgery following the bout, many assumed it would give the UFC plenty of time to work out a new deal with the heavyweight king, especially as the promotion began to hype a potential clash between Ngannou and Jon Jones who has been working towards his heavyweight debut for the better part of three years. Unfortunately, it sounds like the UFC has done very little since January to work out the kinks with one of their biggest names.
In a recent interview on the ‘Joe Pomp Show‘ with Joe Pompliano, Francis Ngannou confirmed that Jon Jones would likely be the man to meet him in his return to the Octagon, but also revealed that his contract dispute with the promotion is still unresolved.
“Maybe Jon Jones, if we get things sorted out,” Ngannou said when asked about his highly-anticipated UFC return. “Because this contract situation hasn’t been sorted.”
Francis Ngannou Believes Current UFC Contracts Offer No Protection for the Fighter
‘The Predator’ aired his grievances with his current contract and once again shared a desire to fight for organizations outside of the UFC.
“The contract says you have to fight when they tell you you have to fight. But your contract does obligate them to give you a fight. They can sit you down for two years. You can’t say anything,” Ngannou said. “So unless they want to make you fight, you won’t fight. So that’s something that caught my attention. What is this contract good for? How this contract protect me, on what? Nothing. I have nothing.
“When you sign that contract, you give your ownership to the UFC. But technically, it’s not protecting you from nothing, from anything. They can cut you whenever they want, they can give you a fight, yes or no, and they don’t have to answer to anybody. They can do whatever they want. So why am I signing a contract? I have no protection in that contract.
“Unless you can guarantee me something in that contract, there’s not a reason to do a contract. Matter of fact, you say I’m an independent contractor. Let me fight, I can fight for you and fight for someone else. Why am I having exclusive contract with you with no benefit? I’m supposedly an independent contractor.”
With Jon Jones’ heavily rumored return at UFC 282 in December now dead in the water, an early 2023 return when Francis Ngannou is fully healed and ready to go makes sense. However, the UFC is going to have to pony up the dough if they want to bring fans what would undoubtedly be the biggest fight in UFC heavyweight history.