Featured Image Credit: Getty Images ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 22: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon prepares to fight Ciryl Gane of France in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 270 event at Honda Center on January 22, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
ONE Championship‘s Chairman and CEO- Chatri Sityodtong announced that Francis Ngannou would not be joining ONE Championship. Sityodtong recently revealed just last week on The MMA Hour that he’d be meeting with Ngannou in Los Angeles over the weekend, “to give him the biggest offer on the table out of all of his bids.” Still, after certain events have developed, it seems the promotion and Ngannou could not reach an agreement.
Sityodtong told SCMP among other reporters and journalists today, “I met with Francis (Ngannou) yesterday for almost three hours” Sityodtong then revealed the answer to the question everyone is discussing. “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.”
Sityodtong explained the decision, “At the end of the day, I didn’t feel Francis and I were fully aligned on non-financial matters. It is nothing personal, it is just a lack of alignment.” Ariel Helwani reached out to Ngannou to get his side of the story once the news had reached him.
Helwani reported, “Francis’s side of the story is a little bit different, he was very transparent. Francis is very close to signing a new deal with another promotion. According to Francis, he was very upfront about this so they left the meeting on good terms.” Helwani continued, “Both of them came to an understanding that because he had already kind of verbally committed to someone, more than likely he’s not going to ONE.” This makes the second time this month that there were rumors of Ngannou signing with ONE Championship but now it seems that ship has sailed.
BKFC is unwilling to pay “unrealistic money” for Ngannou, Bellator President- Scott Coker pretty much said that Ngannou is asking for too much as well, so that leaves PFL as the leading promotion to possibly sign Ngannou.
Ngannou is the former UFC Heavyweight champ and was released in January this year when it was announced by Dana White that the promotion was going to release Ngannou after he turned down the contract that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight fighter in UFC History. Ngannou (17-3 MMA) fought 14 times in the UFC going 12-2 in the promotion with 11 finishes and ten of them were by way of KO/TKO. Ngannou won the title by defeating Stipe Miocic via. second-round KO at UFC 260 in March 2021, which was a rematch after Miocic previously defeated Ngannou by Unanimous Decision at UFC 220 in January 2018. Ngannou had one title defense before leaving the UFC, which was against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, Ngannou won via. Unanimous Decision.
Where do you think Ngannou goes and how well do you think Ngannou has handled negotiations and his post-UFC career? Let us know in the comments below!