Israel Adesanya believes Francis Ngannou’s split with the UFC will be short-lived: “The story’s not over yet”

By Susan Cox - June 14, 2023

Israel Adesanya believes Francis Ngannou’s split with the UFC will be short-lived.

Francis Ngannou Israel Adesanya

Ngannou and the UFC parted ways in January of this year after ongoing contract negotiations ultimately failed.

‘The Predator’ became a much sought after free agent, eventually signing with the PFL (Professional Fighters League) where he is expected to make his debut in 2024.

Israel Adesanya believes Francis Ngannou  (17-3 MMA) will inevitably return to the UFC, but feels the UFC has to mend some fences before that can happen.

It was during an interview with ‘The MMA Hour’ that Adesanya shared his thoughts on Ngannou’s story (h/t MMANews):

“I’m proud of him because his story is very unique, even before he was in the UFC. The story’s not over yet, everybody needs to chill and just watch…everyone wants to be first…this isn’t a guy that just quits. Dana’s said some stuff in the past (about women never fighting in the UFC)…look where we are now! I think he’ll do what he does and come back, and then they’ll pay him what he deserves, what he’s earned, because they f**ked him for a long time.”

It’s hard to believe Ngannou will return to the UFC after Dana White, when asked by media if it could happen, responded:

“No. We negotiated with him for years. It’s over, that’s over. He’ll never be in the UFC again. … I never say never, but I’ll give you a never on that one. We tried.”

Francis Ngannou, Dana White, UFC, UFC 285

Upon hearing of Ngannou signing with the PFL, White told reporters at the post UFC Vegas 73 press conference that the contract with PFL ‘makes no sense to me’. White also claimed the former UFC heavyweight champion ‘wants to take zero risks’ and ‘doesn’t want to take any chances’ and also elaborated on his lack of fights in the Octagon.

Ngannou, took issue with White’s commentary and took to ‘Twitter’ with the following tweet:

“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 2. I hate taking risks? that’s why I defended my title to fulfill my contract with no acl or mcl 3. The reason I fought three times in three years is because you wanted to control my deal and signs a new one. And freeze me out. ‘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.”

It is hard to believe Dana White and Francis Ngannou could get back on friendly terms at this point.

Do you, like Israel Adesanya, believe Francis Ngannou will eventually return to the UFC?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Francis Ngannou Israel Adesanya UFC