Francis Ngannou contract: Dana White provides update on his future

  • Tom Ward
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Dana White remains hopeful Francis Ngannou will sign a new contract with the UFC despite the latter’s apparent interest in a switch to boxing.

The French-Cameroonian, 35, successfully defended his heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California.

But Ngannou is reportedly unhappy with the terms of his current UFC deal, essentially accusing them of treating him like dirt.

However, White has insisted he is still optimistic they can reach an agreement, despite his public spat with Ngannou’s agent Marquel Martin.

White told ESPN: “He’s been in Cameroon visiting his family, so he’s supposed to get back here in the next couple of weeks and we’re supposed to get together.

“Listen, in the history of this company, the only guy that we’ve ever not signed was Fedor [Emelianenko].

“I mean, it’s the only guy we could never sign.

“So, you know, I’m hopeful and confident that we can get a deal done with Francis.”

Jan 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Francis Ngannou (red gloves) before his fight against Ciryl Gane during UFC 270 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ngannou meanwhile has publicly come out and expressed his frustration with the UFC brass as he insisted he has no intention of signing a new deal at this moment in time.

Cameroon’s first and only UFC champion addressed his contract situation during an interview with MMA Fighting, saying: “You can be free and fight for the UFC.

“I just want to be free. We are supposedly independent contractors. [An] independent contractor is technically a free person.

“That’s the reason why they need some adjustments in that contract. That’s what I’ve been fighting for. The term of the contract, everything that they put into, they hold you in captivity.

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Francis Ngannou

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“You can’t do anything. You have no rights. The contract is one-sided, although you still don’t have nothing.

“You don’t even have health insurance, even while you’re putting your body on the line to provide to put on the show.

“You’re risking everything. There’s a lot of things. We have no insurance.

“Nothing. No guarantee, which I understand as an independent contractor, but treat me as such, if I am.

Jan 22, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Francis Ngannou (red gloves) before his fight against Ciryl Gane during UFC 270 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

“Whether I’m going to be an employee or an independent contractor, make it very clear in the contract. It’s very mixed up.

“That’s probably the thing that I hated most about this, how they hold all the cards, the power to just destroy you.

“As soon as you don’t say yes, they just take you down.

“There’s something wrong with me with those kind of things, that I just can’t take it.”

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