ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong responded to an apparent jab on Twitter from former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou after reports of negotiations between the two parties fell apart.
Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Sityodtong revealed that he had scheduled a meeting with Ngannou to present the promotion’s final offer. Unfortunately, ONE was unable to come to terms with the Cameroonian. After reportedly meeting with ‘The Predator’ for three hours, Sityodtong claimed that ONE withdrew their offer, citing “non-financial” issues as the biggest obstacle between the two parties. Since then, Sityodtong has lobbed multiple claims, suggesting that Ngannou was looking for a seat on the board of directors and power over his opponents’ purse.
‘The Predator’ seemingly responded to Sityodtong’s comments on Twitter, posting an image of Batman villain Two-Face with the caption, “Some promoters man.”
ONE CEO Wishes Francis Ngannou the Best in His Future Endeavors
Speaking with the South China Morning Post mere hours away from the promotion’s highly anticipated U.S. debut on May 5, Sityodtong was asked about Ngannou’s tweet.
“I wish Francis the very best. He’s a good guy. He’s a good champion. It’s unfortunate that ONE, we decided to withdraw from the process, but it doesn’t take anything away from Francis’ life story,” Sityodtong said. “He’s an incredible martial artist. I wish him the best wherever he goes, wherever he ends up. Francis is a stud. He’s a good guy.”
ONE Championship’s final offer to the heavyweight free agent was reportedly worth a guaranteed $20 million. However, it sounds as though Ngannou had already verbally agreed to sign with another organization even before Sityodtong sat down with him. No official announcements have been made as of this writing, but rumors are running rampant that the Professional Fighters League handed Ngannou the winning offer.