Manager: Francis Ngannou rejected ‘biggest’ UFC contract offer outside of McGregor

Francis Ngannou was purportedly offered the 'biggest' UFC deal outside of Conor McGregor.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 1 week ago
Manager: Francis Ngannou rejected ‘biggest’ UFC contract offer outside of McGregor

Francis Ngannou has so far won the negotiations battle with MMA promotions. “The Predator” recently signed a lucrative deal with PFL, making him the highest-paid heavyweight fighter in the sport today. 

But according to his manager Marquel Martin, Ngannou had been offered a massive UFC contract that supposedly leveled that of the company’s most prized superstar Conor McGregor

Francis Ngannou turned down massive deal

Martin recently appeared on the MMA Hour and revealed a supposed blockbuster deal from the UFC. While he claimed that Francis Ngannou was on the brink of re-signing, he said his client eventually turned it down because “it wasn’t just about the money.” 

“I thought it got very close. I wasn’t a part of the conversations in the fourth quarter, if you will, and you can probably guess why, but in my conversations post those dinners, there was a real chance that he was going to sign,” Martin revealed.  

“But it had to be under the right terms. People are saying, ‘It’s all about money.’ Chill. To keep it 100, as they say, this dude got offered the biggest contract outside of Conor [McGregor] before the interim fight with Ciryl and that, and he said no because it wasn’t about just money.”

Francis Ngannou had always been about being “free” and he’d constantly felt restricted by his UFC contract. Now with a new deal with PFL that also allows him to pursue his boxing plans, Martin sees it as a huge win, not just for their camp, but for the sport as a whole. 

“He’s the highest-paid heavyweight ever,” Martin said of his client. “With the PFL deal, the way that it’s unstructured, it’s unprecedented. This is a game changer. That’s why I’m kind of shocked. I thought everyone would celebrate this. Even fighters, even managers. I have no hate towards anyone. 

“This is better for the sport. The first thing that I saw at CAA when I worked there, because it’s literally the best of the best in the world, the UFC side is top level, but the other side is like the wild, wild west. Like, the managing a fighter, that side.”

Manager responds to accusations about Francis Ngannou refusing take risks

UFC president Dana White recently put Ngannou on blast, accusing his former champion of refusing to take risks. 

“He’s fought three times in the last three years,” White said of Francis Ngannou. “It’s just not what we do here. It’s not what we do. And the day that we released him, I knew exactly what was going to happen.

“Francis wants to take zero risks, doesn’t want to take any chances, and he obviously didn’t want to take a chance with Jon Jones — and after we saw what happened with Ciryl Gane, I don’t blame him. I think the outcome would’ve been exactly the same, and I’m sure most of you do and I’m sure Francis does too.”

Francis Ngannou already responded to White with a numbered list of what he’d done to prove otherwise. His manager also showed some of the ‘receipts’ he claims to have. 

“Francis, we were trying to get so many fights, people have no idea. He should have been done with his contract two years ago, easily. And we could have re-signed, we could have done whatever. 

“It was always, ‘Hey, this is happening and this is happening.’ One could say he was just getting stalled out, right? After the Rozenstruik fight, we were waiting around forever and we didn’t want to wait on Stipe [Miocic]. 

“I think something was going on with [Daniel Cormier] and Stipe, we didn’t want to wait, we were like, ‘We’ll take another fight. No problem. We’ll take another fight.’

“So when people say Francis didn’t want to fight or blah, blah, blah, it’s just not true. So I stopped arguing with the Twitter trolls and stuff. It’s just, I’ve got so many damn receipts I’m not even going to share them. And UFC knows that. They know that we were actively trying to fight all the time. All the time.”

The 36-year-old Ngannou hasn’t seen action for nearly a year and a half now. His PFL debut isn’t expected to take place until 2024.

Share this story

About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

More from the author

Recent Stories