ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed that the promotion offered former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou a guaranteed $20 million contract before bowing out of negotiations.
On May 5, ONE will make its long-awaited North American debut, bringing its top stars to the 1stBank Center in Denver, Colo. The event is scheduled to be headlined by a highly anticipated ONE flyweight world championship trilogy bout as reigning titleholder Demetrious Johnson puts his ONE gold on the line against division rival Adriano Moraes.
(A #ONEFightNight10 Thread)
I am STOKED that it’s officially FIGHT WEEK & ONE is in town…
If you didn’t already know, @ONEChampionship is going to be taking over Denver all week in the lead up to the HISTORIC night. You know @thescrapnews has you covered. pic.twitter.com/hbEyLAZTr4
— J. Torres (@joeyfights) May 3, 2023
Two weeks before ONE Championship’s debut on the mainland, the promotion’s CEO revealed that he had a meeting with heavyweight free agent Francis Ngannou. ONE was set to deliver their final offer to the Cameroonian in hopes of signing him to their global enterprise. Following up on their negotiations, Sityodtong revealed in an interview Daily Star that the two parties were unable to come to terms, noting that Ngannou was simply asking for entirely too much.
Francis Ngannou is Looking for Much More Than Money According to ONE Championship CEO
However, it turns out that money wasn’t the problem. In fact, ONE Championship more than doubled the offer of the UFC, guaranteeing ‘The Predator’ $20 million for his services. In the end, Ngannou wanted a larger role with the promotion, specifically a seat on the board, according to Sityodtong.
“He was asking for a seat at the board of directors, he was asking for him to determine his opponent’s pay,” he revealed. We offered him $20 million guaranteed, the money wasn’t enough, he wanted all of these other non-financial terms that didn’t make a lot of sense. We obviously can’t give a seat at the board of directors, that doesn’t make any sense, he would be a fish out of water [in that position].”
Shortly after Sityodtong’s comments, it was revealed that Francis Ngannou had verbally agreed to sign with another organization. No official announcement has been made by ‘The Predator’ or the mystery party, but all signs currently point to the Professional Fighters League as Ngannou’s new home.
ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong told the South China Morning Post that after a three-hour meeting, he will no longer be pursuing Francis Ngannou.
It's been over 400 days since his last fight. pic.twitter.com/tsbch1bf5i
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 2, 2023