ONE Championship leader, Chatri Sityodtong has confirmed the promotion have ended talks with former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou amid “careful reflection”, further explaining how both partied sre not “fully aligned”. 

Ngannou, a former undisputed heavyweight champion under the banner of the UFC, departed the Dana White-led organization back in January of this year, having completed his contractual obligations with the promotion last December.

Sidelined from active competition since he headlined UFC 270 in January of last year, the Batié native had most recently unified the heavyweight titles successfully with a unanimous decision victory over then-interim champion, Ciryl Gane

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Linked with a transition to professional boxing in the wake of his departure from the UFC, Ngannou had also reportedly received offers from both ONE Championship, and North American-based PFL (Professional Fighters League).

ONE Championship confirm their withdrawal from talks to sign Francis Ngannou

Yet to pen terms with any promotion regarding a comeback to competition, talks have broke down between Francis Ngannou, and ONE Championship, with the aforenoted Sityodtong confirming the Singapore-based promotion’s withdrawal from the race to sign him.

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“I met with Francis (Ngannou) yesterday for almost three hours,” Chatri Sityodtong told South China Morning Post. “ONE has decided to withdraw from the process of bidding for Francis Ngannou’s services. After careful reflection, we decided not to submit our final offer. Francis is a good guy and a good champion. I wish him continued success and happiness.”

“At the end of the day, I didn’t feel like Francis and I were fully aligned on non-financial matters,” Sityodtong explained. “It is nothing personal. It is just a lack of alignment.” 

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Furthermore, reports late last week emerged detailing how former boxing world champions, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder had been linked with a December clash in Saudi Arabia – with both recently also tied to a potential boxing match against would-be debutant, Ngannou to boot. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.