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Francis Ngannou Fires Back at Dana White

7 days ago

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 20: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon shakes hands with UFC president Dana White during the UFC 270 press conference at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 20, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Following UFC Vegas 73 last night, Dana White had some extensive statements and comments regarding Francis Ngannou and the PFL at the UFC Vegas 73: Post-Fight Press Conference.

White Says the PFL Deal 'Doesn't Make Sense''

At the press conference, White was asked about the news of Francis Ngannou and PFL’s blockbuster deal earlier in the week. “Based on what I know of the deal, which is not much, it makes no sense to me.” White explained “I mean, you’re going to pay a guy not to fight for a year and it’s already been like 18 months. He’s (Ngannou) fought three times in the last three years. Just not what we do here.” White continued, “The day that we released him, I knew exactly what was going to happen. Francis wants to take zero risks, he doesn’t want to take any chances. He obviously didn’t want to take a chance against Jon Jones.”

White predicted what would’ve gone down in a Jones vs. Ngannou fight, “After we saw what happened with Ciryl Gane (Jones def. Gane via first-round sub) I don’t blame him. I think the outcome would’ve been exactly the same, I’m sure most of you do and I’m sure Francis does too. The media makes it sound like I’m saying he’s afraid of him. I don’t think that he’s afraid of anybody. It’s just the fact that he doesn’t want to take any risks.” White then aimed at the PFL, “PFL is going to pay this guy for a boxing match that may not even happen and that they might not even be involved in, how does that make any sense? It doesn’t make sense to me, Anthony Joshua called it a gimmick fight this week. That’s one of the big problems with boxing, it’s all about these gimmicky type fights and that’s just not what I do here.”

White then talked about the UFC‘s attempts to get a new deal done with Ngannou, “Francis could’ve signed here, Hunter (Campbell, Chief Business Officer) threw the kitchen sink at that guy. Hunter went to more dinners with Francis Ngannou and did everything in his power to try and get this fight done. Francis just thinks he’s in a position where he’s got some Conor McGregor/(Floyd) Mayweather fight on his hands, which he does not.” White then explained there was no beef with the PFL, “I have no beef with the PFL, these guys have always been super professional, never talked any smack. What they’re doing makes no sense to me, their business strategy. I’m hearing that they’re raising money from the Middle East. I’ve done a lot of business in the Middle East, those guys are sharp and I don’t know who in the hell would give them 280 million dollars because I’m hearing they’re buying Bellator. So you’re an organization that’s burning cash, have no ratings, and no selling tickets and you’re going to raise $280 million to buy a company that’s burning cash, sells no tickets, and does no ratings. It sounds f***ing absolutely genius to me.” White said sarcastically.

“I know how this story ends, I get what Francis is doing, I wish the PFL all the luck in the world, I wish him all the luck in the world. When you think about it, he’s going to this company, I don’t know what they’re paying him, he’s not even fighting their champions. He wants to box, he signs with this company and he’s not even fighting their champions right now. All the stuff that’s being talked about, it’s all bulls*** by the media.” White concluded.

Francis Ngannou Responds

Ngannou definitely heard what White had to say last night. Ngannou went as far as to list everything he disagreed with White over such as he wasn’t released and completed his contract. Defending his title with no MCL or ACL and defeating Gane, proves he takes risks. Lastly, Ngannou said he only fought three times in three years in no fault of his own but accused the UFC of controlling his deal and that he never said no to any fight.

Ngannou concluded by asking White, “Why are you so against me being free and happy?” Ngannou then took aim at a potential fight between himself and current UFC Heavyweight champ- Jon Jones, tweeting “If you ever really want that Jon Jones fight to happen reach out to Pete Murphy (PFL CEO) Whenever, wherever.” 

Ngannou then pointed out White’s contradictive statement about Ngannou not wanting to fight Jones when in March of 2021, White had said, “If I’m Jon Jones and I’m home watching this fight, I start moving to 85 (Middleweight)” following Ngannou’s victory over Stipe Miocic to win the title at UFC 260. Ngannou tweeted, “Who really is scared? Jon, me… or you? Make up your mind.”

Here is the full video of the UFC Vegas 73 Post-Fight Press Conference. What do you make of both White and Ngannou’s comments, who do you side with? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images 

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