Francis Ngannou could wait out champion’s clause until 2023 if a new UFC deal doesn’t come before then

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francis ngannou
Mar 27, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou is not opposed to taking the rest of 2022 off and waiting out the terms of his deal if he and the promotion can’t agree on a new accord after UFC 270.

Aside from being a little over a week away from his heavyweight title defense in California, Ngannou (16-3) is unsure of what his future in combat sports will be after UFC 270. The 35-year-old has one fight left on his current UFC deal. If he loses to Ciryl Gane (10-0) next week, he will be a free agent looking for the best offer possible. But if he retains his title things really get interesting.

Due to the champion’s clause in his contract — a common feature in many MMA deals — Ngannou will be obligated to continue fighting for the promotion, despite fulfilling the eight-fight responsibility of the contract he signed in 2017. In a new interview with ESPN MMA, “The Predator” claims the terms of the clause call for him to either fight three more times as champion or remain signed with UFC for another year.

Francis Ngannou will not fight in the Octagon again for the same money he will make are UFC 270

“The UFC contract is very tricky,” Ngannou said. “That’s why you sign [a 40-month] contract and you find yourself after four years still dealing with that, even though you have been active.”

Ngannou could choose to sit out until Dec. when he should technically have met the added year part of his champion’s clause. And that may be the route he goes because he says he is unwilling to fight again for the same amount of money he will be making next Saturday.

“No, I will not fight for $500,000, $600,000 anymore,” he said. “I mean, it’s over. It’s over. I just did this. I took this fight for a personal reason, and I want to make sure that regardless, even if it’s unfair, I have been wrongly treated, I can make my case to say I have completed the eight fights.”

Ngannou details frustrations with how the UFC markets him

francis ngannou
May 9, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Francis Ngannou (red gloves) defeats Jairzinho Rozenstruik (blue gloves) by knockout during UFC 249 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks ago UFC President Dana White revealed that he and Ngannou had recently crossed paths in Las Vegas and he had a “good talk” with his “misguided” champion. Ngannou’s representatives and the promotion have not had new talks on a contract since June, and White has had a public war of words with his heavyweight champs manager Marquel Martin. Claiming he has been the hindrance in getting a new deal done.

Ngannou added more layers to the surprise meeting and explained that he aired his frustrations about his recent treatment and what he sees as a lack of serious promotion since becoming a UFC champion.

“At this point, I’m not upset. I’m kind of chill about everything and I went to him, greet him, we wished each other happy holidays and I told him my frustrations and expressed to him how I would like to stay in the UFC, but I don’t feel like UFC wants me to stay,” said Ngannou. “I don’t feel like I have a promoter anymore. I won the championship fight, the next thing that was coming my way was a way to extend me and everything. I didn’t feel like I was promoted. Maybe I’m wrong about that but I didn’t see any compared to what happened to different champions.”

Ngannou is currently on a five-fight winning streak. All of which came by knockout. The most recent coming against division legend and two-time champion Stipe Miocic.

What are your thoughts on Ngannou possibly sitting out until Dec. to unshackle himself from the champion’s clause in his UFC deal?


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