LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou reiterates that his departure from the UFC wasn’t about money.
Ngannou is currently a free agent after failing to come to terms with the UFC on a new deal. As a result, his heavyweight championship was relinquished, and now Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will battle for the vacant belt in Saturday’s UFC 285 headliner at T-Mobile Arena.
UFC president Dana White said that Ngannou turned down a deal that would have made him the highest paid heavyweight in UFC history, but Ngannou said his demands were beyond just money.
“The money is very important obviously, but as I said, the structure, the approach, the term of the contract, what comes with the contract is even more important,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “So I will not disclose anything, and someone could be more than what I have turned down, someone could be less, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean, I get excited for some contract which is less than what I get, honestly.
“Because the way that it’s structured, I see more value in that contract, which is not financially (better) but still has a value for me as a person. I’ve been seeking for a value, and I think that’s why the UFC at some point said they would give up their right to match, because they understood that at that point, it wasn’t going to be about money. If it’s about money, the UFC could beat everybody out there when they want, but it’s about the terms.”
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Ngannou confirmed that he’s received multiple offers since but hasn’t settled on one just yet. He said lacing up boxing gloves is his main priority, but he plans on competing in MMA again, as well.
“I prefer boxing,” Ngannou said. “I’m looking to fight in boxing first. Maybe my second fight will be MMA, but most likely, I want to fight boxing first.”