Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya supported Francis Ngannou’s decision to leave the UFC. He also would like to see some changes on how UFC athletes are treated.
Francis Ngannou is no longer with the promotion after the two parties have failed to come to an agreement. UFC president Dana White said that Ngannou was free from his contract after rejecting an $8 million offer that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time.
Most athletes would sign the deal with no hesitation and found Ngannou’s decision to be ridiculous. But, a few of them are openly supporting Francis Ngannou’s decision.
One of Ngannou’s close friends, Israel Adesanya, believes that the former heavyweight champion “made the right call”. Adesanya was present at UFC 284 in Australia to support his teammate Alexander Volkanovski.
During the interview, ‘The Last Stylebender’ explained how Ngannou’s requests make the most sense.
“Francis made the right call. He is the one that kicked in the door. We’ve all been behind him. We’ve been seeing this for how long? If you guys go back on the tapes I’ve been saying the same thing. I’m not going to hop on about it but he is right. It’s little things.”, Adesanya said
“He is asking for things that should be mandatory. He wasn’t asking for crazy ridiculous demands. It was something as little as for the guy fighting for the opening having the fourth or third quarter man being paid for and the hotel being paid for… That sets them up nicely. They don’t have to fork it out of their $10k + $10k [payment]. Little things like that.” – Adesanya explained.
Despite being one of the highest paid UFC athletes, Israel Adesanya believes UFC payment is a bit unfair. He is also hoping that UFC athletes would be treated better in the future.
He added, “He (Ngannou) is asking for a reasonable demand and felt like he should’ve got them. That’s not how we do business, but the way we do business has to change.”.
Now, Ngannou is chasing a boxing match against boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. The 36-year-old Cameroonian believes he could find better opportunities in the boxing ring in terms of payment. However, despite calling each other out in the past few months, Ngannou and Fury haven’t signed a contract yet.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.