The future looks bleak for former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s potential return to the UFC, as UFC President Dana White has made it clear that he has no interest in any future dealings with the free agent.
Ngannou’s negotiations with the promotion came to an end in January when White announced the UFC 285 main event between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, and declared UFC won’t be blocking Ngannou from negotiating with others.
White addressed the issue during a media scrum following the UFC 285 ceremonial weigh-ins, and when asked about the possibility of revisiting negotiations with Ngannou to face the winner of Jones vs. Gane, he responded with a resounding “No.”
White elaborated on his stance, stating, “We negotiated with him for years. It’s over, that’s over. He’ll never be in the UFC again.”
When asked if there would be no more communication with Ngannou going forward, White doubled down, saying, “Yeah, I never say never, but I’ll give you a never on that one. We tried.”
Ngannou has expressed his desire to return to MMA, but it seems the UFC is no longer interested in his services. Instead, he is currently focused on securing a big boxing match with the likes of Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
“Yes but obviously there’s MMA promotions that are reaching out to see how we can structure, how we can get into business together. How we can become a partner mostly.”
As for who could be next in line to face the champion crowned at UFC 285, former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has stated that he has been told he will be next, although there has not been official confirmation from the promotion.
Ngannou previously questioned if UFC would even let him attend the event and listed that as one of the reasons he won’t be cornering friend Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in London.
Previously Ngannou expressed skepticism about reconciling with the UFC. He also published a funny reaction to the Dana White snippet on his social media: