At the beginning of this year, one of the most current MMA topics was Francis Ngannou's contract. By defeating Ciryl Gane in the first month of this year, the "Predator" was automatically extended his contract for another year or three more matches.
Ngannou can theoretically take a break for that year and should become free on the fighter market at the beginning of 2023. If we consider that he is recovering from a serious knee injury, it is very likely that something like that will happen, and the UFC would be at a huge loss if the best heavyweight in the world leaves them.
Francis' main condition was very clear and publicly known. Ngannou wants more freedom, or "untied hands" when it comes to boxing matches. The Cameroonian wants the possibility of doing at least one boxing match, but the leaders of the UFC are not ready to agree to that.
For a while, Ngannou and Tyson Fury raised the hype around a potential showdown, but everything has kind of quieted down in recent months. The situation surrounding Francis' contract is also no longer in the spotlight, and Francis revealed the current situation in an interview with SiriusXM.
The contract still the same
“My contract status right now is still the same. I haven’t received any offer. It’s the same,” he told Jimmy Smith for MMA on SiriusXM. “I hope, like, in the next two to three months, we get to deal with that.
To solve that. It’s not surprising to me. I think we’re not in a rush. I’m not in a rush, either. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m not rushing. At the end of the day, we have (a lot) of time,” said Ngannou, who previously revealed his intentions to return to action before the year ends.
The 36-year-old heavyweight champion should be ready to return to the cage in the first half of next year. A big match against Jon Jones is one option for his return and Ngannou certainly wants to stay within the UFC. However, the UFC will also have to show a desire to keep the "Predator" under its wing.