It’s safe to say Francis Ngannou isn’t on the best of terms with the UFC right now.
‘The Predator’ captured heavyweight gold earlier this year when he knocked out Stipe Miocic inside two rounds at UFC 260. Ngannou was expected to make his first title defense against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 but unfortunately couldn’t make that date. Rather than wait for the new champ, the UFC bosses decided to create an interim title that has since been won by Ngannou’s former teammate, Ciryl Gane.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Ngannou insisted he had no problem with the creation of an interim title so early into his reign. However, the knockout artist from Cameroon does have an issue with the way the UFC promoted Gane vs. Lewis.
Francis Ngannou Still Has Beef With The UFC
“The only issue is how — because on my end, I know that was the way to apply pressure — it didn’t seem right,” Ngannou said. “I find it so awkward that it didn’t even bother me. I’m like, what’s going on? OK, let’s do it. What bothers me is the fact that to promote that fight they were trying to discredit me and pretend, ‘If you want to go on vacation, keep yourself and when you want to fight, we are here.’ No, I want to fight and I wasn’t on vacation. And they use a video from Embedded to play that game, to pretend to discredit me and show that I was on vacation.
“That bothers me because that’s not right. I know that is not true, it’s just to discredit me, to control the narrative. I don’t have a problem if they want to do the interim, just do the interim without sabotaging me.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
Ngannou is expected to face Gane in a unification fight at UFC 270 in January 2022. The fight is the last on Ngannou’s current contract and he has no interest in re-signing with the UFC, at least with what is being offered right now. However, due to Ngannou’s champion status, the UFC has the ability to extend his contract for as long as they want to offer him fights. So, in reality, whatever happens as UFC 270, it appears Ngannou will be sticking around in the UFC for at least a little bit longer.
Do you think Francis Ngannou is right to criticise the UFC?