Conor McGregor believes Francis Ngannou made an error by walking away from the UFC for a “side quest” into boxing.
‘The Notorious’ is slated for a long-awaited return to the Octagon later this year against high-octane lightweight striker ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler. Expected to scrap in the fall, the pair will first star in a new season of the promotion’s long-running reality series The Ultimate Fighter. On Wednesday, the former two-division UFC champion sat down for a live in-studio interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to talk about his work on season 31 of TUF and his anticipated return to the Octagon.
Conor McGregor Intends to Remain with the UFC Until Retirement, Criticizing Francis Ngannou’s Decision to Leave
During their conversation, McGregor shared his thoughts on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and his departure from the promotion after nearly two years of negotiations. Speaking candidly, McGregor wished Ngannou all the best but believes ‘The Predator’ made a mistake in walking away.
“If you think of Ngannou… Think of all he got. He was in that P.I. using all the equipment. There was no dough on that. There would’ve been no charge on that. He’s getting accommodations, he’s getting everything sorted. I thought he made an error, to be honest.
“I wasn’t sure why he done that, to be honest. It kind of took the shine off from how it went. But, look, I wish him well.”
Conor McGregor talks Francis Ngannou.#TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/RXnnSSpiar
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 16, 2023
Francis Ngannou’s biggest complaint regarding his UFC contract was the restrictions that prevented him from pursuing other combat sports opportunities, specifically boxing. ‘The Predator’ is intent on continuing his mixed martial arts career with another organization but hopes to cash in on a boxing bout with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury first.
Conor McGregor knows a little something about the boxing world, having briefly stepped away from the Octagon to compete in a professional boxing bout against Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in 2017. McGregor lost via TKO in the 10th round.
“What, to go out and get a little side quest and see if they can get some boxing dollars and all the rest of it? For me, the UFC is pinnacle,” McGregor said. “It’s the company I love, it’s the company I wish to be with for the rest of my career.”