Israel Adesanya fully believes Francis Ngannou made the right decision to leave the UFC.
After failed negotiations with the world’s premier MMA organization known as the UFC, former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannoun made the choice to pursue free agency rather than re-sign. The decision was made after several desired contractual stipulations of Ngannou were refused to be met by the UFC.
According to Ngannou, they wanted to offer him a ton of money to force him to “Shut up”. What Ngannou wanted, however, were things like fighter healthcare, the right to box while also fighting under a UFC contract, and several other things. According to Francis Ngannou, though, the UFC declined, saying they “Didn’t do business that way”.
Former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya believes ‘The Predator’ made the right call, while also publicly commending him for putting his own career on the line to further advocate and negotiate for every fighters benefit.
Israel Adesanya speaks out in support of Francis Ngannou
“Francis made the right call,” Adesanya told media at UFC 284 (H/T MMA Junkie). “He’s the one that kicked in the door. We’ve all been behind him. We’ve been saying this for how long? If you guys go back on the tapes, I’ve been saying the same thing. I’m not going to harp on about it, but he’s right. It’s little things. He’s asking for things that should be mandatory.”
“He wasn’t asking for, you know, crazy, ridiculous diva demands. There’s something as little as for the guys fighting on the opening (bouts), having the fourth or third corner man being paid for, and the hotel is being paid for. That sets them up nicely, and they don’t have to fork it out of their $10K and $10K, or maybe even $10K, to pay for their fourth or third corner man – little things like that.”
Francis Ngannou parted ways with the UFC in January, and despite being offered what Dana White said himself was the biggest offer for a heavyweight in history: refused to sign. ‘The Predator’ wanted healthcare for fighters and the right to box while still signed to the UFC as previously mentioned, while also desiring things like the ability to have sponsors independent of the UFC.
Israel Adesanya is in support of these requests, and agrees with Ngannou’s decision to become a free-agent as opposed to resigning with the UFC.
“He’s not being a diva,” Israel Adesanya continued. “He’s asking for reasonable demands, and I felt like he should have got them. (UFC president Dana White) said, ‘That’s not how we do business.’ But the way we do business has to change, and it will change. He’s just the guy to kick in the door.”
What do you think of Ngannou’s decision to refuse signing with the UFC?