Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recently talked about UFC President Dana White. He revealed that White attributed the split to Ngannou’s desire to fight lesser competition for more money, a notion Ngannou laughed at Tuesday and said the comments must have been out of frustration considering he angled for a new three-fight contract in the hopes of bouts vs. Jon Jones and one vs. Stipe Miocic.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Ngannou said:
“He saw his champion go away, which is probably something that never happened to him. As a matter of fact, two years ago, there were betting on that. Like, ‘OK, you think you can leave the UFC? That’s never happened. Go ask Randy Couture.’ Then, I went and asked Randy Couture what happened and he explained to me. I’m like, ‘OK, this is a different situation.’”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 17, 2023
Ngannou said that he wanted a new three-fight contract he expected to finish in one year before a turn to professional boxing.
Ngannou estimated the new deal would pay him “around” $8 million to fight Jon Jones at UFC 285. He then expected to complete trilogy with Stipe Miocic and then rematch Jones before his move to boxing, where high-dollar matchups with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua loomed.
But there was a sticking point that ultimately killed the deal: Ngannou didn’t want the standard UFC contract.
“In that contract, I’m not free,” he said. “I’m not an independent contractor. I have no rights. I hand over all the power to you guys. I’ve seen in the past how you guys can utilize your power against me, and I don’t want that.”