UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou faced the then-interim UFC heavyweight champion Gane in a title unification matchup at UFC 270 in January.
Their back-and-forth fight ended with Francis Ngannou beating ‘Bon Gamin’ via unanimous decision and successfully unifying the heavyweight belts. The hot-button topic heading into the fight was Ngannou’s contract dispute with the UFC. The Gane fight marked the last one on ‘The Predator’s’ UFC contract.
On that note, Ngannou had reportedly refused to sign a new deal with the UFC unless he was given better pay and allowed to compete in the sport of boxing as well. Also after his victory over Gane, Ngannou revealed that he’d hurt the MCL and ACL in his right knee but still chose to face ‘Bon Gamin’ and finish the final fight of his UFC deal.
In a video posted to his official YouTube channel, Francis Ngannou has now insinuated that he was disappointed by how the UFC treated him leading up to UFC 270. The Cameroonian MMA stalwart suggested that the UFC wanted him to lose as they intended to dent the value of his brand on his way out of the organization. Ngannou stated:
“After the fight, instead of being happy, I started to feel some anger. Oh, yeah. I was angry about all this, like, you know, those kind of like emotional moments like, ‘Okay. They wanted to screw me up. They wanted to f**k me.'”
Watch Ngannou discuss the topic at 0:13 in the video below:
Ariel Helwani provides a positive update regarding Francis Ngannou’s UFC contract negotiations
MMA Junkie’s Nolan King recently reported that with the much-discussed Jon Jones-Stipe Miocic fight falling apart, the UFC will likely book Jones against either Francis Ngannou or Curtis Blaydes. It’s believed that Jones could fight Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 285 on March 4th, 2023. Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick too hinted at the same, as did combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani.
Furthermore, with Ngannou having undergone knee surgery in March of this year, he’ll likely have completed the 8-12 month recovery period and could return in March 2023.
On The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani explained that Francis Ngannou is no longer represented by CAA, a talent agency regarded as a rival to UFC parent company Endeavor. He opined that this would help a deal between Ngannou and the UFC to materialize. Helwani said:
“Francis is about to become a free agent, but I’m hearing that talks are actually pretty good. You know you saw Eric Nicksick, his coach, reference March 4th.”
Watch Helwani address the topic below: