ONE Championship drops out of running to sign Francis Ngannou: “We decided not to submit our final offer”

By Cole Shelton - May 1, 2023

Francis Ngannou will not be signing with ONE Championship.

Francis Ngannou

After Ngannou fought out his UFC contract and was released from the promotion, many expected him to sign with another promotion rather quickly. The former UFC heavyweight champion was adamant about taking a boxing fight first but he made it clear he would fight in MMA. Immediately, ONE Championship, PFL and Bellator expressed interest but after meeting with Ngannou, ONE has decided not to submit a final offer.

“I met with Francis yesterday for almost three hours,” ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong told the South China Morning Post via text message Monday. “ONE has decided to withdraw from the process of bidding for Francis Ngannou’s services. After careful reflection, we decided not to submit our final offer. Francis is a good guy and a good champion. I wish him continued success and happiness. At the end of the day, I didn’t feel Francis and I were fully aligned on non-financial matters. It is nothing personal. It is just a lack of alignment.”

Since Francis Ngannou has become a free agent, Bellator, and BKFC said he was asking for too much money, but ONE Championship said it had nothing to do with finances. With ONE Championship out of the mix, it’s uncertain who Ngannou will sign with for his next MMA fight.

Francis Ngannou (17-3) last fought in MMA back in January of 2022 when he beat Ciryl Gane by decision to defend his heavyweight title for the first time. He won the belt in March of 2021 when he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round. Ngannou went 12-2 inside the Octagon with notable wins over Curtis Blaydes, twice, Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, and Alistair Overeem among others. His two losses came by decision to Miocic for the belt and a decision setback against Derrick Lewis.

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