"It makes no sense to me" - Dana White reacts to historic Francis Ngannou PFL deal
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Dana White has shared his scepticism towards Francis Ngannou signing a deal with the PFL (Professional Fighter's League) following his exit from the UFC earlier this year.
The Cameroonian made history by leaving the UFC as its reigning heavyweight champion in January and has this week put pen to paper on a deal with the PFL.
It is understood that the disclosed terms of the deal include concessions that provide the 36-year-old equity in the company as well as a role on the PFL board of directors, making him the chairman of PFL's expansion into Africa, allow him to seek his own sponsors and box and a guaranteed $2million for each of Ngannou's PFL opponents.
It is expected that the Cameroonian will make his promotional debut for the PFL in 2024 after pursuing his pro boxing debut in the second half of 2023.
President of the UFC White reacted to the news for the first time at UFC Vegas 73's post-match press conference, saying: “Based on what I know about the deal, which is not much, it makes no sense to me. You’re going to pay a guy not to fight for a year, and it’s already been like  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.”
Ngannou is currently the world's no.1-ranked heavyweight in MMA and departed the UFC on the back of a six-fight win streak with successes over former two-time champions Stipe Miocic and Gane, whom he fought with a torn ACL and MCL.
The 36-year-old boasts victories over former champions Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski as well as knockouts of Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes (twice) and Jairzinho Rozenstruik amongst others.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: UFC, Dana White, Francis Ngannou