Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is not a fan of reigning heavyweight title holder Francis Ngannou and her problems go back several years. Not that “The Predator” is the premier league champion who doesn’t feel respected by the promotion, but it does seem like White and Co. are doing everything they can to make Ngannou look bad.
Why should a promoter actively discredit one of their top stars?
“I haven’t signed a new contract,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour. “First of all there is a championship clause and they tried to put pressure on an extension but I haven’t signed a new contract and I think that’s basically the problem. That’s what causes all of these problems because I don’t want to sign a new contract on specific terms. I don’t feel protected in this regard – I’ve fought twice in the past two years and have to borrow money to live. Nobody cares. I have no guarantee and no protection, so based on this experience I want to get something better, better terms for my contract and of course pay for what I deserve. “
Ngannou, 35, has loudly expressed his desire to be paid more for his cage efforts after putting together one of the most impressive heavyweight races in recent history. But winning five straight wins – with all five wins being achieved by a thundering knockout – didn’t have much of an impact on the negotiating table.
Without a new deal to fix its heavyweight champion, UFC decided to create an intertitle and “sabotage” Ngannou in the process.
“What bothers me is the fact that in order to encourage this fight they tried to discredit me and pretend they were going on vacation, keep yourself and if you want to fight we are here. No, I want to fight and I wasn’t on vacation, ”said Ngannou. “And they use a video from ‘Embedded’ to play this game to pretend they’re discrediting me and showing that I was on vacation. That bothers me because that’s not right. I know that’s not true, it’s just to discredit me, to control the narrative. I have no problem if you want to do the interim, just do the interim without sabotaging me. “
Ciryl Gane grabbed the replacement belt by stopping Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 in Houston last August and will seek to unite the division titles by beating Ngannou in the UFC 270 headliner in Las Vegas this January. And with his championship clause, Ngannou will automatically renew his current contract from fight to fight until he loses.
“The UFC is a beautiful and beautiful promotion,” continued Ngannou. “I love being in the UFC. The only part that is challenging now is the behind-the-scenes part. But fight, I love it. That’s for sure, I love doing a doctorate, there’s no doubt about that. I still hope this works out. I still hope I wish it would work out. If it doesn’t work out in the meantime, there is nothing I can do. “