UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the fight promotion are in contract negotiations, and it appears that they’re close to striking a deal.
“They have a longstanding relationship. They’ve done a great job in promoting Francis. Francis has done a great job in promotion the UFC, or representing the UFC and himself,” Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, said on Ngannou’s Youtube Channel.
“There’s no reason why a deal can’t and shouldn’t be done,” continued Martin. “As long as it’s fair, as long as it’s reasonable, and beneficial to both sides, I’m optimistic that Francis will re-sign with the UFC.”
In an interview with ESPN MMA, UFC president Dana White also sounded optimistic.
“I think we’re headed in the right direction with Francis,” White said. “There’s no doubt about it that this is where Francis should be, and Francis should finish his legacy here at the UFC and I think we’re pretty close to getting it done.”
Ngannou last fought in January, defeating Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision in the UFC 270 main event. It’s been 11 months and Ngannou sounds like he’s getting the itch to get back in the octagon.
“I get back there, I feel like I still have a lot to do. I still enjoy it. I love it. This, this is hard, but it’s where I want to be,” Ngannou said on YouTube. “This is what I want to do. I don’t want to do anything else.”
“I’m very excited about it, to see how it’s going to come out. Being out a year now, almost a year, I want it. I want to go back there,” added Ngannou.
“The Predator” expects to make an announcement one way or the other any day now.