New UFC deal must have increase in pay, option to box

    Francis Ngannou is willing to re-sign with the UFC under two conditions.

    Ahead of his title unification bout against Ciryl Gane in the UFC 270 main event Jan. 22, heavyweight champion Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) may be looking at the final fight of his current deal.

    Ngannou, who signed a five-year contract with the UFC in December 2017, will complete his current contract if he loses to Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC). If he retains his title, the deal will extend for more fights.

    “The UFC contract is very tricky,” Ngannou told ESPN. “That’s why you sign a (40-month) contract and you find yourself after four years still dealing with that, even though you have been active. Contractually, it means that I have executed the eight fights that were on my contract. And the championship clause, people don’t understand that in the contract, (it) is optional because it says if at the end of the contract, if you’re the champion, you’re extended for three fights or one year. So that all made me think it’s optional.”

    However, if he were to call the UFC his future home, Ngannou wants both an increase in pay and the option to box professionally.

    Ngannou recently went back-and-forth with WBC and The Ring heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury, who appeared to express serious interest in boxing him – something the UFC heavyweight champion has wanted for years.

    “No, I will not fight for $500,000, $600,000 anymore,” Ngannou said. “I mean, it’s over. It’s over. I just did this. I took this fight for a personal reason, and because I want to make sure that regardless, even if it’s unfair, I have been wrongly treated, I can make my case to say I have completed the eight fights. But no.

    “We’ve been having this (boxing) discussion for a year, and it seems like they were OK with it. Whatever you’re doing, whatever the event is, whether it’s boxing, when the UFC is involved, it’s just going to make it bigger. That’s not questionable. So yes, if I want to box, I would like the UFC to be involved.”

    During the holidays, Ngannou had dinner with Dana White, who downplayed the rift between the UFC and Ngannou. The heavyweight champion revealed what was said in the conversation, in which he opened up on how he really felt.

    “It went pretty well,” Ngannou said. “At this point, I’m not upset. I’m kind of chill about everything. I went to him to greet him and we wished each other happy holidays, and I told him my frustration. I expressed to him that I’d like to stay in the UFC, but I don’t feel like the UFC wants me to stay. I don’t feel like I have a promoter anymore. I won a championship fight, the next thing that was coming my way was a way to stand me off everything. I didn’t feel I was promoted. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I didn’t see anything compared to what happens to different fighters.”

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