Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Dana White on UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou’s contract: ‘If you don’t want to be with us, no problem’

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UFC president Dana White can do without Francis Ngannou if the UFC heavyweight champion can do without the promotion. Ngannou enters UFC 270 on the last fight of his contract and White revealed what will likely happen if Ngannou successfully defends his crown against Ciryl Gane at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, Jan. 22.

“The Predator” and his management have had a turbulent relationship with White and company, one that persists heading into the pay-per-view event. White, perhaps empowered by the holiday spirit, addressed the contract status gently.

“These things happen. You don’t always come to terms with people. I’m trying to be nice today,” White told ESPN. “When you’re a fighter, we just had this conversation a minute ago, you got to be careful who you get to represent you because that’s what they do. I don’t think he’s had the best representation.

“If you want to be with us, we’d love to have you. If you don’t want to be with us, no problem. It’s all good.”

Ngannou won the heavyweight title in March with a vicious knockout of Stipe Miocic. Then, it was announced in June that Ciryl Gane would face Derrick Lewis for an interim title as Ngannou told UFC he was unable to fight in August, but would be ready by September. 

White suggested that Ngannou would be contractually obligated to one more fight should he beat Gane at UFC 270.

“So I think his contract, and this is off the top of my head, I don’t know. His contract, he still has time with us after this fight on this contract,” White said. “So he’d probably have one more fight.”

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