There’s been an ongoing public feud between Francis Ngannou and the UFC. While the nitty-gritty details have remained behind the scenes, what’s known to the MMA public is the contract dispute between “The Predator” and his manager Marquel Martin, and the organization.
In such a situation, it would be easy to assume that money is the root cause. Many fighters have gone down this road, citing unsatisfactory compensation as their main problem. But according to the reigning heavyweight champion, the issue is way more than that.
“It’s not simply money. Obviously, money is a part of it, but it’s also the term of the contract. I don’t agree with it. I don’t feel like it’s fair. I don’t feel like I’m a free man. I don’t feel like I have been treated good,” Ngannou said during the UFC 270 post-fight presser.
“It’s unfortunate that I have to be in this position to be able to do that, to say that. But I think it’s something that everybody should at least have a right to claim what’s best for him. Because at the end of the day, we put a lot of work in this job, we take a lot (of damage) in our body to make it happen. So at least we can have a fair and square deal.”
Ngannou reportedly fought out the last fight in current his contract on Saturday night. Should he fail to get another fight within the year, he will be a free agent by 2023. When asked about that possibility, the 35-year-old competitor remained unbothered.
“In the past three years, I have fought three times. So what does that mean? Once a year? It wouldn’t be something strange,” he said.
“I’m not frustrated about anything. I’m at peace with myself and my decisions.”
Ngannou successfully defended his title for the first time against Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision.