Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who is no stranger to the French press centering around him and his lifestyle, feels they label him as one of theirs only when triumphant.
Despite numerous injuries and a bad knee, the heavyweight champion beat Cyril Gane to maintain the title last month and is likely to undergo surgery in March. It doesn’t seem like he’ll fight in the octagon this year, as the recovery phase takes about ten months.
He’s one of the most respected fighters in the promotion in both stature and style. His rivalry with the French-born fighter Gane and his change in training centers did not stop the Cameroonian from amassing fans in France.
The Heavyweight Champion Sounds Off
However, Ngannou has a bitter relationship with the French press and took to the media during an interview to voice his dissatisfaction.
“It’s (attitude of the French media) because I was fighting a French guy, that’s how it happens in France. In France, when you lost, you are Cameroonian; when you win, you’re French-Cameroonian or French. And this time I was fighting a real French guy, so they built up the story of the villain and the good guy. I mean, it’s just media. After the fight, a lot of them, they just changed their mind. Some people just wrote back the article, like, ‘A French-Cameroonian retained his title,’ all that kind of stuff. It’s the media, you can’t control that stuff.”Francis Ngannou speaks on media treatment
“But regardless of that, I know that I have a huge fanbase in France, I have people in France who love me and that’s all that matters. That’s the people who I represent. In France, my fans, my friends, those who even became my family, you know, that’s why I’m happy about France,” he continued.
He seems to respect the country and its people, but his relationship with the media reflects one of many fighters. They are necessary in the business, but it doesn’t mean they are liked.
Ngannou’s contractual terms remain unsolved, but we might see the champion come back to the octagon later this year against a rejuvenated Jon Jones. Both of the men seem to want the fight, but only for the right price.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images