Conor McGregor insists Francis Ngannou ‘made a mistake’ by leaving the UFC to seek a big-money payday in boxing… with the former heavyweight champion now in talks to face KO king Deontay Wilder
- Conor McGregor has questioned Francis Ngannou’s decision to leave the UFC
- Ngannou chose not to relinquish the promotion after his contract expired
- Former heavyweight champion wants to try free agency in MMA and boxing
Conor McGregor has questioned Francis Ngannou’s decision to leave the UFC to try free agency in search of new pastures.
Despite being the organization’s reigning heavyweight champion, Ngannou decided not to resign from the UFC in January after failing to agree to terms on a new contract that Dana White said would have made the 36-year-old a heavyweight. highest paid in UFC history.
In Ngannou’s absence, the promotion moved quickly through the heavyweight division by vacating his title, and a returning Jon Jones subsequently defeated Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 285 to become a two-weight world champion.
Meanwhile, Ngannou has been linked to several potential matchups in the world of combat sports, including possible crossover bouts against boxing stars Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte.
Asked for his opinion on fighters choosing not to stay with the UFC to test the waters of free agency, McGregor insisted that he believes the promotion represents the “pinnacle” of combat sports.
Conor McGregor claimed Francis Ngannou made a ‘mistake’ by choosing to leave the UFC
Ngannou has been linked with a move into boxing, with Deontay Wilder (left) and Dillian Whyte (right) named as possible opponents.
“What, go out and get a little side quest and see if you can get some boxing bucks and everything?” McGregor said. Ariel Helwani from The MMA Hour.
‘For me, the UFC is the pinnacle. It’s the company I love, it’s the company I want to be with for the rest of my career.
‘If you think of Ngannou… Think of everything he has. He was at that PI (UFC Performance Institute gym which is free to all active fighters in the promotion) wearing all the gear.
‘There was no dough on it. There would be no charge for that. She’s getting accommodations, she’s fixing everything. I thought she made a mistake, to be honest.
‘I wasn’t sure why he did that, to be honest. He took the shine off how he was. But, look, I wish him the best.
McGregor ventured into boxing in 2017, taking on pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather.
McGregor ventured into the ring to face Floyd Mayweather in 2017 in an event billed as ‘The Money Fight,’ putting in a commendable performance against the pound-for-pound great before being stopped in the 10th round.
Unlike Ngannou, however, McGregor remained a UFC contract fighter for its venture outside of mixed martial arts, which was co-promoted by the organization.
During the interview, the Notorious also revealed that his return to the Octagon was initially scheduled to see him complete his trilogy with Nate Diaz, before the Stockton native left the promotion with lightweight contender Michael Chandler stepping in to train alongside him at the next season of The Last Fighter.