Conor McGregor is questioning Francis Ngannou’s choice to leave the UFC. In January of this year, Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA) parted ways with the UFC. The heavyweight champion rejected the UFC’s most recent offer after a protracted contract dispute, leaving the organization.
Being a free agent, Ngannou is now keeping an eye on his options.
Conor McGregor questioned Ngannou’s choice to leave the UFC during an appearance on “The MMA Hour”:
“To go out and do a little side-quest seeking to get boxing dollars and the rest of it? For me, the UFC is pinnacle. It’s the company I love, it’s the company I wish to be with this company for the rest of my career. ”
” I wanna be in the UFC, that’s my catalog, is in the UFC. My highlight reel is in the UFC.”
“Although look, let’s see what happens. I hope they want it. I hope they feel the same way also.”
McGregor continued by saying:
“Look, I love the company dearly, it’s changed my life. It’s given me so much, and it’s helped me in many situations in my life. So, I’m just … the UFC is my company.”
Conor McGregor concluded by saying:
“Like if you think of Ngannou, think of all he got. He was in that (Performance Institute) using all the equipment, all everything. There was no dough on that, there was no charge on that. He’s getting accommodation, everything sorted. I thought he made an error, to be honest.”
“He hasn’t fought in a minute, get a belt under the belt and then maybe start — I wasn’t sure why he did that to be honest. It kind of took the shine off him, how it went. But look, I wish him well. I know Eddie Hearn’s talking to him.”
At another point, McGregor added he had two more bouts remaining on his contract as well as a desire to stay with the promotion. It’s not beyond belief that this could be a negotiating strategy from business savvy McGregor.
UFC has had tremendous issues dealing with the bad publicity stemming from Jake Paul statements so if a star of McGregor’s caliber turned against them it would be a PR nightmare.
As is, Francis Ngannou isn’t really looking to sling mud at the promotion and was even speaking affirmatively about the UFC 285 card in his reaction video.
While the PI thing might be a valid criticism, Ngannou was in serious negotiations with the promotion for majority of 2022 and 2023 and was the front runner to face Jon Jones on several occasions.
As such, he was perfectly within his rights to be there. Every day UFC cuts talent, which is then prevented from using the facilities and many of the men that are cut surely need physio therapy and other things the UFC PI provided.
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