Francis Ngannou is finally free to explore his options as a free agent. Sean Strickland had a few things to say on Ngannou’s departure.
At the UFC Vegas 67 news conference, Dana White said that Ngannou had rejected many contract offers from the UFC that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the promotion. Therefore, both the exclusive negotiation window and the matching rights clause have been waived by the promotion.
Strickland trains with Francis Ngannou at the Xtreme Couture facility in Las Vegas. Following his victory against Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 67, Sean Strickland took slights at the UFC.
Strickland said at the post-fight media scrum:
“It’s a damn shame to see Francis go. He’s f**king iconic in the UFC. He’s probably one of the greatest heavyweights we’ve ever had. It sucks he parted ways but I hope him and Tyson Fury fight for a lot of f**king money.”
If the bout with heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury occurs, Strickland said that Ngannou will have achieved the goal he has been chasing for a very long time:
“It stinks that he’s leaving, but congratulations to Francis if he can get that lucrative match with Tyson. Enjoy your money and go f**k yourself.”
In his post-fight octagon interview earlier the same evening, Strickland expressed his sadness for Stephan Bonnar’s passing and emphasized the need for better fighter treatment.
“I want to give my condolences to Bonnar man. The guy f**king paved the way for the sport. With the old beat-up fighters man, after we’re in this f**king sport, we’re nobody. We’re usually broke with nothing going on for us. So give support to these old dogs.”
Sean Strickland and Francis Ngannou have sparred often at the Xtreme Couture facility in Las Vegas. Strickland has gone so far as to insinuate that he would fight the Cameroonian even if he may get knocked out.
In an episode of Straight Outta The Lair with Flex Lewis, Sean Strickland discussed what motivated him to spar with one of the most feared sportsmen on the globe.
He said: “I have this insecure b**ch in me that sees f***ng Francis walk in the room, like he f***ing scares me, and I’m like, ‘I want to f***ng fight you man. Even if you knock me out, I want to fight you.”