For the past few months, the UFC and Francis Ngannou (through manager Marquel Martin) have been butting heads. But late last month, company president Dana White gave an update on Ngannou’s situation, saying things have turned towards a positive direction.
“Francis and I bumped into each other the other night at dinner. And we had a good talk. And he’s not out of contract if he wins that fight. I think he’s got one more fight with us after that,” White told Teddy Atlas while also saying Ngannou has been “misguided” by the people around him.
But Ngannou’s most recent statements seem to contradict what White said. As he told ESPN’s Max Kellerman in a recent interview, his post-UFC 270 contract situation remains up in the air.
“Honestly, at this point, I don’t really know,” said Ngannou. “Before Stipe fight, they were talking about this Jon Jones fight. The UFC even say officially, like, the winner is fighting Jon Jones. And suddenly, after I won the fight, that didn’t come out at all.
“I’m not here to chase ghosts. I’m chasing what is real, what is possible. But at this point, I don’t know what is the stage of my situation with the UFC. So we’re gonna see how this plays out and see what is on the table. Then we can deal with what is on the table. As of now, I can’t allow myself to speculate about anything.”
As for Jon Jones specifically, Ngannou says he’s no longer looking forward to that.
“No, I’m done with that fight,” Ngannou said on the pre-fight press conference about facing Jones next. “I’ve been waiting for that fight for so long. After Stipe, it was supposed to be Jon Jones, and that never happened. I don’t know why. So I moved on.”
Ngannou has one fight left in his current contract, which he will fight out this Saturday in a unification title bout with interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. “The Predator,” says he’s no longer willing to fight for $500,000 and wants a boxing crossover as part of his new deal.
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