The undisputed Heavyweight champ of the UFC is fresh off his last fight of his UFC contract. Rarely does it happen where a star at the level of Ngannou remains without a contract after winning the title. It’s simple, Ngannou wants to be paid his value and his worth while the UFC has made it difficult for the Cameroonian to be paid his value.
When Bruce Buffer announced that Ngannou had retained his Heavyweight title in a tight five round battle versus former teammate Ciryl Gane. Gane is young and still new to this sport, but he proved that he is the next big star of the Heavyweight division. When Gane fought Derrick Lewis for the Interim title, only eight months after Ngannou KOd Stipe Miocic for the title, he was insulted and rightfully so. Ngannou was offered a fight with Lewis in June but requested a later date in July which was refused. He was then offered a fight for August but because of VISA renewals and his schedule, he felt he didn’t have enough time to prepare for a title shot. The UFC gave the fight to Gane instead.
The world was already whispering that Dana and the UFC were refusing to pay Ngannou his fair share. Unfortunately for Uncle Dana, this also comes at a time where he’s catching bullets from Jake Paul and the rest of the internet about fighter pay. Dana has always kept negotiations private while Ngannou never said anything negative about the UFC or Dana. Ngannou discussed his deal on ESPN but felt that the UFC didn’t want him with the promotion. Maybe that’s why Dana didn’t place the belt on Ngannou after he unified the title at UFC 270.
Maybe Gane being given a interim title shot was a negotiation tactic by the UFC to show Ngannou that he’s expendable. Regardless of the star power of Gane, Ngannou is a international superstar. The UFC structured their contracts so that it is almost impossible to wait it out and be released without a penalty. Even Jorge Masvidal and Jon Jones were in the spotlight during their fight negotiations. Jones asking for Deontay Wilder money and Masvidal was patiently waiting for the right price before he was signed on short notice for a title shot versus Kamaru Usman.
Ngannou is still without a deal but we know one thing, the UFC will never not have the biggest star. Hopefully they work out a deal shortly, but Ngannou isn’t without any suitors. Khabib’s new promotion Eagle FC has signed a bunch of former UFC stars and have the money for a star like Ngannou. Curious to see how this will shake up.