Dana White Slams Francis Ngannou and PFL Over Groundbreaking Deal: ‘It makes no sense to me’

Dana White Slams Francis Ngannou and PFL Over Groundbreaking Deal: ‘It makes no sense to me’

Dana White has expressed his disapproval of his competitor's recent agreement with Francis Ngannou.

Following his historic departure from the UFC as the reigning heavyweight champion, Ngannou signed an extraordinary contract with the PFL just last week. The terms of the deal, which have been disclosed, include unique provisions such as granting Ngannou equity in the company, a position on the PFL board of directors, and the role of chairman for PFL's expansion into Africa. Additionally, the agreement allows Ngannou the freedom to venture into boxing and secure his own sponsors, while also ensuring that each of his PFL opponents receives a guaranteed purse of $2 million. Ngannou is anticipated to make his promotional debut for PFL in 2024, following his pursuit of a professional boxing debut in the latter half of 2023.

During the post-fight press conference of UFC Vegas 73, Dana White publicly addressed the news, sharing his reaction for the first time.

“Based on what I know about the deal, which is not much, it makes no sense to me,” White said Saturday night in Las Vegas. “You’re going to pay a guy not to fight for a year, and it’s already been like [14] months. He’s fought three times in the last three years.

“It’s just not what we do here. It’s not what we do. And the day that we released him, I knew exactly what was going to happen. Francis wants to take zero risks, doesn’t want to take any chances, and he obviously didn’t want to take a chance with Jon Jones — and after we saw what happened with Ciryl Gane, I don’t blame him. I think the outcome would’ve been exactly the same, and I’m sure most of you do and I’m sure Francis does too.”

“What they’re doing makes no sense to me, their business strategy,” White said. “I’m hearing that they’re raising money right now — $283 million, $300 million, I don’t know what the number is — from the Middle East, and I’ve done a lot of business in the Middle East. Those guys are sharp. Who in the hell would give them $280 million, because I’m hearing they’re buying Bellator, right? So you’re an organization that’s burning cash, have no ratings and selling no tickets, and you’re going to raise $280 million to buy a company that’s burning cash, sells no tickets, and does no ratings? It sounds absolutely f****** genius to me.

“I know how this story ends. I get what Francis is doing. I wish the PFL all the luck in the world. I wish him all the luck in the world. It’s just not what we do here.”

Ngannou fired back at White’s comments with three specific rebuttals, the first being to correct his old boss who claimed to have released him, which isn’t the case.

“What is your problem with me? 1. I completed my contract, was a free agent, and chose to walk away. you didn’t release me,” he tweeted.



The Cameroonian knockout artist then addressed the fact his final UFC fight came at a time when he was nursing a knee injury that has kept him sidelined ever since.

Ngannou added: “2. I hate taking risks? that’s why I defended my title to fulfill my contract with no acl or mcl?

Finally, Ngannou pointed out that his inactivity was because White stopped offering him fights in an attempt to force him into a new long-term deal.



3. The reason I fought three times in three years is because you wanted to control my deal and sign a new one. And freeze me out,” Ngannou wrote.

“I owe these guys three fights a year.” Isn’t that what you say? What happened? I always asked for & never said no to any fight in the 3 years”

The 36-year-old remains open to a fight with Jones
The 36-year-old remains open to a fight with Jones Credit: Getty

“Why are you so against me being free and happy? I’m finally getting paid and respected, and have a deal that’s fair and equal for all parties. Why are you so against me being free and happy?”



Ngannou finished off his targeted rant at White by telling him to get in touch with PFL CEO Peter Murray if he wants to make a fight between him and Jon Jones.

Although, that seems unlikely as Jones is expected to face Stipe Miocic at Madison Square Garden in November before calling time on his Hall of Fame career.

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