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Francis Ngannou reveals why he left UFC

Francis Ngannou opened up to Ariel Helwani during a special Tuesday episode of The MMA Hour about his split from the UFC.

During a lengthy contract negotiating process, Francis Ngannou says he requested the UFC for a lot of things. But the former UFC heavyweight champion claimed that in the end, he came to the conclusion that the UFC's offer did not give him enough independence.

Even though the two parties were unable to come to an agreement, Ngannou stated at the outset of the interview that he had no regrets about the way he handled the negotiations with the UFC.

“I really hoped for this to work out. I really wished that we could find a way to work (it) out. I’ve been in the UFC (for) the past seven years, and I always (saw) myself in the UFC. I never really envisioned myself out of the UFC. And when it came to this point — because at first, it was just a matter of principle. It wasn’t even an idea of leaving the UFC. It was just like, ‘OK, it’s the principle.

Ngannou also reacted to White's claim that the proposed contract would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight in UFC history. Ngannou had other specific demands that were denied in place of money. He admitted that he requested board meetings to be attended by a fighter advocate, sponsorship opportunities, and health insurance.

“I hear them talking about money. Obviously, money is a part of it, but it wasn’t all about money. But how about those guys (who) are still at the bottom (making) $10,000 + $10,000 or (lose) a fight (and) make $10,000? They can’t really afford that health insurance.’”

Even though Ngannou is currently an unrestricted free agent after failing to reach an agreement with the UFC, the possibility of a comeback is still alive.

“I think I have gotten to a point in my life that, I’m cool, man, you know? I get past everything. I have seen a lot. And one thing that I have also learned in life: never say never.”


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