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Francis Ngannou Fires Back at UFC For Forcing Him to Defend the Heavyweight Title on Short Notice



Francis Ngannou and Dana White

UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will be defending his title against the undefeated fighter Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. The fight was scheduled after Ciryl Gane had dismantled Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 to become the new UFC Interim Heavyweight champion.

Francis Ngannou (16-3) had won the UFC heavyweight championship by knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March. Following that win, Ngannou had been in talks with the UFC for his first title defense against Derrick Lewis but after traveling home to Cameroon, he was looking to compete in September rather than the date the promotion had booked in August.

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With Ngannou unavailable for the date the promotion wanted, the UFC opted to introduce an interim title with Ciryl Gane claiming the belt with his win against Derrick Lewis. The victory moved Gane to 10-0 overall with six of those wins came in the UFC.

In the past, both Ngannou and Gane had engaged in multiple sparring sessions against each other at the MMA Factory in France. Now the former training partners are expected to meet with only one of them walking away with a UFC heavyweight title at UFC 270.

Francis Ngannou expresses his displeasure at UFC for conducting the title fight in January

The UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recently spoke with Ariel Helwani on his show ‘The MMA Hour’. In the recent edition of The MMA Hour, ‘The Predator’ revealed about his frustration regarding the Gane bout taking place in January.

Ngannou has been involved in disputes with the UFC for a quite a few times now. While speaking to Ariel Helwani, Ngannou also mentioned that he is not happy with the UFC and stated that his problems lie solely with the UFC making him rush to fight.


“Not to mention they have to give me at least time to maybe go home and introduce the belt for my people, for my country, for my family,” Ngannou said. “Why was the rush so bad? In the past two years I have fought twice and suddenly I have to defend my title after two months? What is the rush? What’s wrong? Why can’t I have the average time as everybody, three or four months?”

In the past Ngannou had also raised the issue of the UFC’s fighter pay system. Recently, Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin also had a rift with the UFC President Dana White. It would be interesting to see whether Ngannou and the UFC can settle their differences or the saga continues.