ONE Championship CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, has announced that the company will not be pursuing the signing of former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, after careful consideration.
Francis Ngannou remains one of the most sought-after free agents in combat sports since the conclusion of his spectacular UFC departs in January. But is there ultimately an end of interest in him? One has to question whether Ngannou is exaggerating his cards in because, yet another organization has decided against chasing the heavyweight.
While Ngannou's signing would have undoubtedly brought a great deal of excitement to the promotion, Sityodtong ultimately felt that it would not have been the best move for the organization in the long run.
Additionally, it seemed this past weekend that the Asian promotion was winning the struggle to acquire Ngannou. Before the company's American debut on Friday, CEO Chatri Sityodtong disclosed that he had a talk scheduled with "The Predator" over the weekend during his visit to the USA.
The ONE CEO officially confirmed the details of his talks with Ngannou in Los Angeles on Monday to Nicolas Atkin of the South China Morning Post. The journalist shared a quote on Twitter:
“I met with Francis (Ngannou) yesterday for almost three hours,” Chatri Sityodtong said. “ONE has decided to withdraw from the process of bidding for Francis Ngannou’s services. After careful reflection, we decided not to submit our final offer. Francis is a good guy and a good champion. I wish him continued success and happiness.”
“At the end of the day, I didn’t feel like Francis, and I were fully aligned on non-financial matters,” Sityodtong explained. “It is nothing personal. It is just a lack of alignment.”
Chatri Sityodtong and Ngannou had non-monetary differences, whereas David Feldman, the president of BKFC, did not. Ngannou had declined hefty UFC contracts in favor of more flexibility in his fighting future. But at BKFC, cash ended up being a problem.
Do you believe that Ngannou has chosen properly throughout this bargaining? Will he be sorry he left the UFC? Where do you anticipate his next battle will be held?