Francis Ngannou’s latest demands make it much harder for UFC to go along and extend his contract

It is no secret that the UFC and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou have not been on the same page for a while now.

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.

Ngannou has been requesting a new contract with clauses that ‘protect him’  without much success. Ngannou is now providing a bit more detail on the negotiations between himself and the UFC brass and how he wants things to turn out in the end.

In March 2021, Ngannou won the heavyweight championship. The discussions started after the victory and then stagnated. The UFC wanted Ngannou to compete against Jon Jones, but because of contract concerns with all parties, Ngannou was passed up in favor of an interim championship.

Ngannou has also shown a desire to test himself in boxing. And unlike many UFC aces, Ngannou actually has Tyson Fury interested in testing himself against him – in any ruleset.

Ngannou expressed the desire to have such an option to box included in his contract however UFC hasn’t been willing.

Ngannou explained in an interview

“My contract status right now is the same. I haven’t received any offer. So it’s stayed the same. I hope like in the next three months, two to three months we get to deal with that.”

To make the whole thing a bit harder for the UFC, Ngannou also expressed his desire for athletes to have sponsors independent from the promotion. Sponsorship deals are a huge part of what makes UFC so profitable – with the entire roster having to comply for meager sums.

Ngannou continued:

“I was getting frustrated at some point, why? Because I feel unprotected which is exactly the situation that we all fighters are into. You know, I would like for the UFC to consider the opposition in a lot of things now regarding to fighters, sponsorship, I think fighters should also have a right to put a sponsorship on your shirt, not just for the company to make money out of it.”


Ngannou stated: “We are losing a lot of power. The company is getting big, getting stronger, and we have no power.”