Francis Ngannou’s head coach Eric Nicksick has clarified the reasons for his star student’s refusal to re-sign with the UFC.
In January 2022, Ngannou participated in the last match under his contract with the UFC. In the match, he beat interim champion Ciryl Gane by a unanimous decision.
UFC heavyweight champion famously engaged in a contract dispute with the UFC. Ngannou was also sidelined for the duration of 2022 due to knee surgery.
According to information provided by Dana White earlier this month, Francis Ngannou chose not to re-sign with the organization. Ngannou has been stripped of his title belt and removed from the UFC rankings. .
Before leaving the UFC, Ngannou insisted repeatedly that he wanted to be able to participate in boxing as well. He continued to advocate for better compensation and perks including healthcare for UFC competitors.
Coach Eric Nicksick talked about his student Francis Ngannou on the most recent episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. He said that the UFC had made a generous financial offer to Ngannou but was unable to meet his other demands.
While speaking on Ngannou’s decision to decline a UFC contract extension, Nicksick said:
“We met with Dana [White] and Hunter [UFC’s Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell]; me, Dana, Hunter, Francis. After the fight, we had a great dinner, and things were going in the right direction. We got in the car, and Francis looks over at me and says, ‘If I sign this deal, if I do this without making any change, without doing all the things that I said I was going to do, I’m just another sell-out, and I refuse to do that.'”
“He goes, ‘I’m happy. I have more money than I ever imagined. I’m in a position that I’d never envisioned, and I have a stance where I can make a difference.'”