Thanks to a championship clause in his existing contract, reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will be forced to compete one last time inside the Octagon before earning his combat sports freedom.
The promotion typically re-ups with fighters long before their deals expire; however, Ngannou wants his new contract to allow for certain stipulations, which may explain why the phone hasn’t been ringing these last few months.
“My contract status right now is still the same. I haven’t received any offer, so it’s still the same,” Ngannou told MMA on SiriusXM Podcast. “I hope in like the next three months, two to three months, we can deal with that, to solve that. It’s no surprise to me. I think we are not in a rush. I’m not in a rush either. I mean, I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not rushing. At the end of the day we have a long time.”
Ngannou is still recovering from knee surgery, which came in the wake of his Ciryl Gane title defense back in January. In addition to his pursuit of a boxing super fight, the 36 year-old “Predator” wants to have more control over his MMA career.
“I think fighters should also have a right to get a sponsor on their shirt. Not for the company to make money out of it,” Ngannou continued. “I understand that they want to make this uniform stuff and make this sport clean. I understand that. I feel like, over time, UFC fighters, we are losing a lot of power. The company is getting big, getting stronger, and we have no power. I think for us, it’s also our duty to do something to leave a better sport to the next generation.”
Ngannou is expected to make his Octagon return in early 2023.