After defending his UFC Heavyweight belt by defeating Ciryl Gane during the very last bout on his contract, Ngannou has all the leverage to negotiate for better pay.
Ngannou is confirmed to be under contract until December of 2022 – unless UFC strips him of his title in which case he becomes a free agent immediately.
According to Ngannou, he wants to become a free agent.
The negotiations before his last title defense got really ugly. UFC President Dana White appeared to have taken the failed contract renewal personally. It was even speculated that White was behind anonymous sending of racist messages to Ngannou’s agent, Marquel Martin.
White appeared to be so displeased with Ngannou that he refused to personally hand over the UFC belt following most recent title defense.
The usual UFC Title bout ceremony is for the UFC president to award the winner with the belt. However, when Ngannou beat Gane for UFC 270, Dana White was nowhere to be seen.
Ngannou and the podcast host True Geordie recently talked about that infamous moment.
““Dana White doesn’t put the belt on a champion, how did that feel for you?” Geordie asked the heavyweight champion.
“If you were me, how would you feel?” Ngannou rebutted.
“I’d feel pi**ed off! I’d be like “treat me with the same respect that you treat the last 100 champions” True Georgie said.
“Let me tell you something.” Ngannou calmly stated in response. “I felt happy, you know why?”
“Because that means I made my point, that means it kind like of understand what I was saying, what I was fighting for… He [Dana white] was unhappy and he couldn’t control me and he got pi**ed off because things didn’t go his way.
“They’ve lost, I win… That means he [Dana White] lost as well as Gane that night, right? So I was a winner, why I should be pi**ed off?”
Ngannou is likely to face Boxing champion, Tyson Fury, in a boxing match. Unless the UFC decides to co-promote the event, Ngannou will not be resigning. Many other athletes are waiting to see how Ngannou contract negotiation plays out to see how certain clauses of the contract work.