Francis Ngannou has launched a blistering attack on UFC president Dana White following his exit from the promotion.
The Predator walked away from mixed martial arts’ top league following failed talks over a new contract – leaving the heavyweight title vacant.
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After confirming Ngannou’s departure, White claimed he’d rejected an offer to become the promotion’s “highest-paid heavyweight” ever.
And that notion has irked the Cameroonian-born Frenchman, who insists he wasn’t holding out for a blockbuster payday.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, he said: “I watched part of it and at some point, I stopped watching. I was like, ‘Bulls***.’
“Dana is Dana. I don’t care what he said. Dana cannot hurt me.
“Saying things cannot hurt me. Where I come from I’ve heard a lot.
“What he said, it’s his problem. What I know is I’m here and I have a good future.
“I think what he was expressing was his frustration.
“It doesn’t matter what he said. He’s upset. He’s not happy with the situation.
“He saw his champion go away, which has probably never happened to him.”
Ngannou was offered close to $A11.5m for a fight with former pound-for-pound king Jon Jones but turned down the lucrative deal as the promotion would not make any concessions over his requests for fighters to have in-cage sponsors and healthcare.
“For the Jon Jones fight, around that [$11.5m mark Brock Lesnar got paid for UFC 200],” he said.
“It was a multi-fight deal. I was for three fights.
“They said they would give that exception for me. No extension.
“One was Jon Jones, two was Stipe [Miocic] then Jones again.
“Out of that three fights, I hoped two were Jon Jones.”
Ngannou’s old belt won’t be vacant for long as Jones and Ciryl Gane will vie for it on March 4 in the main event of UFC 285 in Las Vegas.
Now that he’s a free agent, Ngannou has set his sights on returning to his first love: boxing.
And he’s targeting showdowns with British heavyweights Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.