‘The Predator’ will start a new chapter of his fighting career after deciding not to re-sign with the UFC. After Dana White made the announcement, Ngannou joined Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to discuss the situation. The former UFC heavyweight world champion had this to say about the opponents he requested to fight before negotiations fell through:
“I asked for three fights, no extension. One was Jon Jones, two was Stipe [Miocic], hopefully, Jon Jones again. Out of those three fights, I hoped two were Jon Jones.”
The initial narrative was that Ngannou wanted more money, but he was actually looking to make a more significant impact. ‘The Predator’ attempted to secure sponsorship freedom and health insurance for all UFC fighters while also requesting a fighter advocate be present at all executive meetings. The former UFC heavyweight champion said none of the requests were considered.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 17, 2023
Francis Ngannou says Dana White is not happy about the situation
At the UFC Vegas 67 post-fight press conference, Dana White had two primary things to say about Francis Ngannou. He said ‘The Predator’ turned down the most money ever offered to a UFC heavyweight and also believes that the 36-year-old wants to fight lesser opponents for more money.
During the same interview with Ariel Helwani, the former heavyweight world champion had this to say about the UFC president:
“Dana is Dana. I don’t care about what he says. Dana cannot hurt me. From where I come from, I have heard a lot worse than that, and I’m still here… He’s upset. He’s not happy about this situation. He saw his champion go away, which is something that probably never happened.”
Helwani was vocal about his disapproval of what White said. The MMA journalist believes the UFC president was trying to slander Ngannou’s name to hurt his marketability before becoming a free agent.
Regardless of White’s comments, Ngannou is thrilled to pursue opportunities outside the UFC. It’s still unclear what he plans to do, but the former heavyweight world champion will surely have the support of MMA fans worldwide.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 17, 2023