Dana White on Francis Ngannou negotiations: ‘We’ve been very patient’

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is currently involved in contract negotiations with the fight promotion, and it doesn’t look like they’re close to an agreement.

Ngannou allegedly fulfilled his contractual obligations with the UFC in his last fight at UFC 270 in January. Following the win over Ciryl Gane, Ngannou underwent knee surgery and has been in recovery and rehabilitation since March. He’s criticized the fight promotion’s contract structure and has called for changes.

“When you look at this sport, do you think everything is perfect? I don’t think everything is perfect,” Ngannou told MMA on SiriusXM Podcast in September. “Over my time I realized there’s a lot of issues that can be fixed. I was getting frustrated at one point because I felt unprotected… I would like for the UFC to consider the opposition to a lot of things now regarding to fighters.”

At the time of that interview, the UFC hadn’t made Ngannou an offer. During the UFC 281 Post-Fight Press Conference on Saturday, UFC president Dana White said that he doesn’t know how the situation with Ngannou will conclude.

“I don’t know how that’s going to play out. We’ve been very patient in this whole thing and trying to get something done with him. We’ll see how this thing ends up,” White said.

If the UFC and Ngannou can come to terms, White would like to put tother a match between the heavyweight champion and former light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones in the first quarter of 2023.

“I think Jon Jones will be the next fight at heavyweight (against) hopefully Francis,” said White.

Israel Adesanya on UFC 281 loss: ‘Sh*t happens’