We’ve waited for almost one year to find out whether Francis Ngannou will stay with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) or leave to test free agency when his contract expires. According to “The Predator,” we should be finding out what’s up any day now.
In the final episode of Ngannou’s Road 2 Recovery video series on his YouTube channel, the Cameroonian Heavyweight roost-ruler shared a timeline for when a decision would made.
“You can expect a decision after UFC 282, which is December 10,” Ngannou said. “Perfect timing for me and my contract.”
As of the filming of the video, things still seemed very up in the air despite recent suggestions that talks had become much more positive.
“I’m still in the same place, because as I said before, I’m not going to sign a conventional UFC contract,” Ngannou said. “It’s going to be something structured better for my own protection, for my own benefit, so. Where are we right now? Not somewhere exactly that I can tell. If I have to sum up how this has been, these situations, contract related ... it’s been fun. Very interesting. I have learned a lot.
“I think these are moments in my life that I will never forget and that let me grow a lot,” he continued. “I can’t tell you everything right now because I don’t know everything right now.”
It’s unclear exactly when Ngannou’s current UFC contract expires and what restrictions remain. But, he signed his last deal on Dec. 8, 2018, so he’s now officially on the other side of the five-year sunset clause. Whatever he decides, he’s looking to get back to action soon.
“I came back from New York on Monday and Tuesday was my first day back in the gym on the mats,” Ngannou said. “I was sitting in the gym and this was probably after 11 months since I was in the gym training in the gym. And I felt like I was there couple days ago, like it wasn’t that long, like the break wasn’t so long. It was so familiar, the feeling, the training, getting to positions, it was like Deja Vu.
“I get back there and I still feel like I have a lot to do,” he continued. “I still enjoy it a lot, this. It’s hard, but this is where I want to be, this is what I want to do. I don’t want to do anything else.”
The video featured footage of Ngannou buzzing with excitement after training again.
“I’m very excited about it, to see how it’s going to come out,” he concluded. “Being out for a year now, almost a year, I want it. I want it. I want to go back there. Is a new chapter! The beginning of a new career. My second career is coming up soon.”