Francis Ngannou did his best to get through to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White.
“The Predator’s” case wasn’t the first time White couldn’t corral the best Heavyweight on the planet, and because of that, a bridge appears to be burned. Earlier today, Ngannou broke the news that he’s signed with Professional Fighters League (PFL) after departing UFC and vacating his title in Jan. 2023. While White has come off as possibly bitter when hearing every mention of Ngannou since they parted ways, the Cameroon native still has no hard feelings about how their negotiations broke down.
“Listen, we have a long, good relationship, I respect that,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour. “I respect what UFC has done for me, I appreciate them, I move forward with my life, we had a contract, we couldn’t agree on another one and I go on my side. They should be able to go on their own side. With all the bad blood, I don’t have anything personal. I’m just doing business work and what is good for me.
“I’m sorry if what is good for me is bad for somebody as long as I don’t personally hurt you,” he continued. “I’m just doing what is good for me. The rest, I don’t care. Do I look like someone that — why should I be upset? Everything has worked out very well for me. So, I’m good, man (laughs).”
Instead of getting the highly-anticipated megafight between Ngannou and all-time great, Jon Jones, UFC’s Heavyweight division turned to Ciryl Gane as Jones’ vacant title fight opponent. Jones went on to successfully earn a second divisional title in his Heavyweight debut, submitting Gane impressively with a first-round guillotine (watch highlights).
Ngannou is expected to make his PFL debut sometime in 2024. The former UFC titlist hasn’t fought since his lone-successful title defense against Gane via unanimous decision in Jan. 2022 (watch highlights).
“Before my last fight with Ciryl Gane, I met with Dana and went to him with stuff and I said, ‘I appreciate everything that you’ve done for me. I appreciate all the help, but at this point, I feel like I don’t belong anymore. I feel like I’m not in the promotion,’” Ngannou said. “I’m in the fight with the promotion and I don’t know exactly how come I got into a fight with the promotion.
“He was telling me, ‘Yes, we want you here. I think you have to change your team or something.’ No, I feel like I’ve been in the promotion lately without a promoter. I don’t have a promoter anymore, and I said this to Dana.
“Personally, I have to talk to him man to man, and I’m cool,” he concluded. “I’m not just happy for how our business is going. That’s all.”