UFC president Dana White reveals ‘good talk’ with ‘misguided’ Francis Ngannou amid contract dispute

The UFC heavyweight champion has expressed frustration over his contract in recent months

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 31 December 2021 12:12
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UFC president Dana White has said he recently had a “good talk” with Francis Ngannou, despite suggesting that the heavyweight champion has been “misguided” throughout an ongoing contract dispute.

Ngannou (16-3) won the UFC heavyweight title last March by knocking out Stipe Miocic in the second round, three years after suffering a humbling decision defeat by the American.

Ngannou’s victory over Miocic was his fifth in a row, with his previous four coming via first-round knockout. The French-Cameroonian has expressed frustration in recent months over his pay in the UFC, leading White to say this week that the champion can leave the promotion if he wishes.

Ngannou’s upcoming title unification bout with former teammate Ciryl Gane – scheduled to main event UFC 270 on 22 January – was believed to be the last fight on the 35-year-old’s current contract. However, White suggested this week that Ngannou may have one more fight left if he beats Gane.

Now, speaking on The Fight with Teddy Atlas, White suggested that Ngannou’s longer-term future may in fact lie with the UFC.

“Francis and I bumped into each other the other night at dinner,” White said.

“We had a good talk and he’s not out of contract if he wins that fight. I think he’s got one more fight with us after that.

“I say it all the time, this sport’s fun for me. I love doing this, and contrary to the narrative out there, we’ve made a lot of people very wealthy. If you don’t wanna be here, if this is not where you want to be, well, that’s not fun for you and it’s definitely not fun for me, either.

“There are all grown men and women, and everybody has to make their own decisions in life and go down their own paths, but I think Francis and I had a good conversation.”

White went on to suggest that Ngannou’s management has complicated matters in recent times.

“I think Francis has been misguided by some people who aren’t very bright,” White said.

“That doesn’t help either when you’ve got some people behind you who have no f*****g clue what they’re talking about. It doesn’t help your situation.”

Ngannou’s upcoming clash with the undefeated Gane (10-0) marks his first outing since winning the title, while Gane claimed the interim belt by stopping Derrick Lewis in the third round in August.

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