Francis Ngannou and Dana White

Dana White Blasts Francis Ngannou’s Decision to Leave UFC

Francis Ngannou has officially left the UFC, and Dana White is extra salty about it. The heavyweight champion, who last defended his title against Ciryl Gane a year ago, is now a free agent after declining the fight organisation’s offer to renew his contract. UFC President Dana White revealed the shocking news on Saturday, suggesting Ngannou rejected the UFC’s offer to make him the “highest-paid heavyweight in the history of the company”, opting to pursue other opportunities instead.

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“We are going to release (Francis Ngannou) from his contract. We are giving up the right to match. He can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.”

In typical fashion, White then proceeded to rip Ngannou for dodging a fight with Jon Jones and leaving to face easier competition. “Francis is in a place right now where he doesn’t want to take a lot of risk. He wants to fight lesser opponents for more money.”

Ngannou’s departure from the UFC comes after months of speculation surrounding his future. In December, the UFC and Ngannou failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. That speculation reached a fever pitch in January when Ngannou publicly declared his desire to become a free agent.

The UFC’s loss of Ngannou is a major blow to the promotion. The 36-year-old was one of the most exciting fighters in the heavyweight division and had earned a reputation as the most feared knockout artist in the sport. He held an impressive six-fight win streak, which included victories over Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem.

While Ngannou is now a free agent, it remains to be seen what his next move will be. He has been linked to a potential move to boxing to fight Tyson Fury, though nothing has been confirmed at this point. Regardless, Ngannou’s departure from the UFC will surely be felt for some time to come.

It’s been reported that Jon Jones and Cyril Gane will fight for the Heavyweight title in March at UFC 285 now that Ngannou has been stripped. Jones, one of the greatest fighters in the sport’s history, has been absent from the octagon since defending his light heavyweight title with a victory over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. Gane’s last outing saw him knockout Aussie Tai Tuivasa at UFC Fight Night 209 last September, with his only loss coming to Ngannou.

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STAFF WRITER

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced Staff Writer with an extensive background in digital content production and news. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. A specialist in sport, lifestyle and gear coverage, Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.