Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title contender Francis Ngannou, currently ranked No. 2 in the division behind former champion Daniel Cormier, is still upset the promotion won’t give him a fight because he needs to feed him family.
Sure, matchmakers called the amused “Predator” and asked him to fill in for the injured Junior dos Santos at UFC Moscow, but I guess that doesn’t count because the fight was on 18 days notice and came with no special incentives, like a guaranteed title shot.
“Obviously, two days ago they called my manager if I wanted to fight,” Ngannou told TMZ Sports. “Like, when? Of course I want to fight. Where and when, with who? ‘In 18 days.’ Really? For what purpose? What is the goal for this fight because it’s a step down for me. We’re talking about what, a title shot guarantee, a contract renegotiation, what? ‘No, we’re not talking about that. Just a fight.’ So we think about it and we’re like, what is the purpose to risk to go to the fight without a training camp because it’s just 18 days. This fight was announced maybe two months ago.”
Ngannou suggested the Volkov fight get moved to Las Vegas, giving him ample time to prepare, but the promotion likely wanted to keep the Russian on the Nov. 9 card because “Drago” is from Moscow and the biggest draw in the line up (see it here).
“I do this for living. I do this to put food on the table for me and to provide to my family,” Ngannou said. “I’ve been asking for a fight since my last fight. I was still inside the Octagon when I asked Dana face to face, ‘Do I get a title shot?’ He said let’s see how it plays out in August. Then after August I didn’t have news, trying to find out what happens, what’s next. Even more than two months after August, I still don’t have a fight.”
Ngannou (14-3) has captured three straight wins, all by way of knockout, but won’t be getting a title shot until Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier settle their score at some point in early 2020. With wins over Curtis Blaydes (No. 3) and Junior dos Santos (No. 4), the next available contender is Derrick Lewis (No. 5).
“I just want the UFC to pay me some respect and for the UFC to give me a damn fight,” he concluded. “That’s what I’m asking for. I was expecting to have a fight by December to make my Christmas and New Year for my family. Hey man, I need a fight. I need to make money.”