Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is apparently still in limbo in terms of his contract situation with the UFC. It’s almost a full year since UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou stepped inside the Octagon. He’d since been involved in a dispute with the company, being one of the most prominent names in the roster with salary grievances, among others.
“The Predator” recently sat down with entrepreneur Joe Pompliano and was asked about his contract situation. While he did reiterate a possible fight with former champion Jon Jones, he says everything is still up in the air.
“Maybe Jon Jones, if we get things sorted out,” he said when asked about his next opponent (transcript by MMA Mania). “Because this contract situation hasn’t been sorted.”
Ngannou’s grievances stem from money issues and supposed unfair treatment by the organization. And because he feels he has very little to no negotiating power, the 35-year-old is having apprehensions about re-signing. Ngannou can choose to be a free agent by December, once his champion’s clause expires.
“And the contract says you have to fight when they tell you you have to fight. But your contract does obligate them to give you a fight. They can sit you down for two years. You can’t say anything,” he said.
“So unless they want to make you fight, you won’t fight. So that’s something that caught my attention. What is this contract good for? How this contract protect me, on what? Nothing. I have nothing.
“When you sign that contract, you give your ownership to the UFC. But technically, it’s not protecting you from nothing, from anything.
“They can cut you whenever they want, they can give you a fight, yes or no, and they don’t have to answer to anybody,” he added. “They can do whatever they want. So why am I signing a contract? I have no protection in that contract.
“Unless you can guarantee me something in that contract, there’s not a reason to do a contract. Matter of fact, you say I’m an independent contractor. Let me fight, I can fight for you and fight for someone else.
“Why am I having exclusive contract with you with no benefit? I’m supposedly an independent contractor.”
Ngannou last saw action at UFC 270 in January against former teammate Ciryl Gane, whom he defeated via decision. He elected to have knee surgery in May and had since recovered for a planned return before the year ends.