Francis Ngannou has revealed that the UFC threatened to sue his agent just hours before his heavyweight title fight against Cyril Gane.
The champion successfully defended his belt at UFC 270, putting his wrestling skills on display to defeat Gane by unanimous decision.
But Ngannou admits that his preparations took a hit when his agent, Marquel Martin, told him that he had received an email from the UFC threatening to sue him for allegedly discussing the idea of a switch over to boxing.
It's understood these discussions were held with Nakisa Bidarian, who is one of Jake Paul's business partners and the co-founder of the YouTuber's Most Valuable Promotions company.
Oh, and the bloke also happened to work with Dana White as the UFC's chief financial officer.
"I walked into the room waiting for my manager, my coach," Ngannou said on The MMA Hour.
"And they were like, 'Wow.' I'm like, 'What's going on?' They told me they just received an email from the UFC saying they're going to sue [Martin] for talking with this guy, Nakisa. Yeah. I'm like, 'Who is Nakisa?'"
Look, we know all too well of the history between Paul and Dana White.
The relationship between the UFC president and Ngannou isn't exactly the best either with contract talks seemingly breaking down, leaving the heavyweight champion in limbo.
Their frosty situation was clear for all to see when the UFC boss refused to wrap the belt around the champion's waist after his victory over Gane.
When asked about it by Ariel Helwani, Ngannou said: "Bro, I don't care about that - what's the difference?"
"I made my point. That could have not even bring the belt, I would be OK with it. I'm not here to go after another thing, this happened, that happened. I'm happy. That's all that matters."
Questioned whether he was contacted by his employers after the bout, Ngannou replied: "You mean after leaving the arena without putting the belt on my waist and not showing up for the press conference? What do you think? No. No, no, no."
Negotiations have clearly reached stalemate and Ngannou has one eye on swapping his 4-ounce MMA mitts for some 12-ounce lace-up boxing gloves.
"Even when they're trying to reach out for a deal, they came out with a good amount of money, but at this point that doesn't even matter," Ngannou said.
"I left all that down on the table. I'm taking my $600,000, I'm going there, I'm doing this and I'm winning everything.
"I left a lot more on the table. Overall, I've been leaving a lot of money on the table even since the Stipe (Miocic) fight. By now, I might be down $7 million that I left on the table, but I'm still happy with my $600,000, because I still fight for what I care for."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/YouTube/The MMA Hour
- Francis Ngannou 'confronts' Jake Paul after saying UFC champion is an 'easy matchup'
- UFC fans praise Francis Ngannou for 'sticking to his guns' after leaving the company
- Francis Ngannou says he requested health insurance for all fighters during UFC negotiations
- Logan Paul teases 'major announcement' with the UFC, fans are split