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Francis Ngannou’s free agency remains a hot topic of conversation, since the former UFC heavyweight champion is yet to sign a deal with another combat sports promoter or announce plans to fight independently.
Ngannou famously earned his release from the UFC on the heels of an undisputed UFC heavyweight title bout with interim belt holder Ciryl Gane. That came after over a year of public sparring between Ngannou and the UFC over the terms of his contract.
Ngannou had stated that he was upset that his UFC contract denied him the opportunity to pursue boxing matches and other independent ventures.
Chael Sonnen thinks Francis Ngannou made a mistake
Former UFC middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen recently spoke about Francis Ngannou’s decision to try and make it on his own. He told MMA Junkie he thinks that ‘The Predator’ has made a mistake and that he should return to the Octagon.
“Francis did a show yesterday with a gentleman, who is kind of a business show (host),” said Sonnen. “The guy was breaking it down and he was asking Francis some very basic questions about the business of MMA. Francis, he looked like a deer in the headlights.
“He didn’t have the foggiest idea how to respond. I thought maybe he was past that, he had been around, he looked around, and kind of saw where some of the numbers came from, he saw what made sense. I think now that maybe he was still of the mindset of, ‘I knocked out three guys in a row and therefore,’ as if that just created money from the MMA money tree.”
Sonnen further argued that there isn’t a long line of potential opponents for Ngannou outside of the UFC.
“If we’re playing chess here, I don’t have two or three steps for Francis. I don’t know how old Francis is. He says he’s 36. He’s at least 36. I don’t know how old he is. I’m not sure he knows how old he is. I don’t bring that up to try to be funny.
“His body has already given out on him. He’s already telling somebody, ‘I’m on the free market. Bid a whole bunch of money for me. By the way, I’ve got a bad knee.’ Nobody in the world… no coach looks at a guy who is hurt and old and pays him a bigger check. It’s a really weird situation. I want him to get it figured out. I don’t say it to tease him. Time is ticking. Everyday he’s not signed, he’s losing.”
Sonnen also discussed Ngannou’s desire to fight Tyson Fury, something that the current free agent has been talking up for the last few years.
“Tyson Fury put out an April 1 joke on social media that he and Francis was done and they are fighting in Wembley on May 15. Tyson Fury made a joke. Francis has changed his whole life. His whole life is different because he thought he was going to make up a sport and do it with a guy who is now using it as an April Fool’s joke. What ever has happened here? He’s got to get some cold water. He has to wake up and he needs to call back his boss.”
Francis Ngannou’s MMA record
Francis Ngannou holds an impressive 17-3 MMA record with 12 of his wins coming via knockout and four by submission. His only decision win is his most recent victory over Ciryl Gane.
He joined the UFC in 2015 with a 5-1 record. He won his first six UFC bouts to earn a title shot against Stipe Miocic in 2018. He lost that bout by unanimous decision. He then lost a unanimous decision to Derrick Lewis.
After the Lewis loss Ngannou switched camps and then went on a tear, winning four fights in a row, each by first round KO. That set up a second title shot against Stipe Miocic in 2021. Ngannou won that fight by second round KO to win the heavyweight title. His only defence of that belt was his recent win over Gane.
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