It looks like the UFC and Francis Ngannou may be finally seeing eye-to-eye.
Since 2021, the UFC Heavyweight Champion hasn’t been too happy with the promotion as they’d create an interim title just months after Ngannou won the undisputed title. This isn’t the only bone Ngannou has had to pick with the UFC, who has been very vocal about the company’s shortcomings regarding his contract.
‘This Is Where Francis Should Be’
Ngannou wishes to explore free agency where he plans to step into the boxing ring someday. But, that may have to wait as the UFC wants him to continue his legacy in the Octagon, perhaps with Jon Jones as his next opponent. According to White, things are now looking good for the heavyweight champ.
“I think that we’re heading in the right direction with Francis,” White told ESPN. “There’s no doubt about it that this is where Francis should be. Francis should finish his legacy here at the UFC. I think we’re pretty close to getting it done. “
Dana White’s ‘Philosophy’
But, what if Ngannou decides to go elsewhere? The UFC boss would give his take on if Ngannou decides to explore other options instead of competing in the UFC.
“Here’s my philosophy on that. We do everything we can to keep a guy that we want,” White continued. We do everything we can to keep a guy that we want. But the reality is, if you don’t want to be here, we don’t want you here either. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. It just doesn’t work if we’re not all in. We’re either all in or we’re not. If you want to be with us and you want to be here and you want to be a part of what we’re doing here, we want you here too. And if you don’t, then it’s mutual.
“There’s no problem with that. You can move on and do your thing. You get some of these guys that have made a ton of money with us and become famous and all the things that go along with being in the UFC, and they get to the point where ‘I’d like to test free agency and get out there and poke around, see what I’m worth and what I can do’ like Nate Diaz.”
Two Kinds Of UFC Fighters
White would continue to use Diaz as an example, who is now a free agent after fighting for the UFC since 2007.
“I saw Nate at the fights, Nate’s great.” White added. “We’ve had a lot of fun with Nate and it’s been great. But, the day comes when people wanna [explore their options]. There’s the guys that say, ‘I’ll never leave the UFC, I wanna be here for the rest of my career’. [Then] there’s guys that are like, ‘eh, let me see what I can do.'”
Francis Ngannou seems to be the latter part of that equation, so we’ll have to wait and see what exactly the future holds for ‘The Predator’ as he heads into 2023.