Darren Till is one of the most outspoken fighters in the UFC, let alone MMA, who always speaks his mind regardless of repercussions he might face in the eyes of public opinion. However, this time, Till might be on to something, as the former welterweight title challenger conducted an exclusive interview with Basketball Insiders.
Till discussed various topics, including his opinion of Andrew Tate, a potential Khamzat Chimaev vs. Colby Covington fight, and whether or not Conor McGregor’s best days are numbered. Of course, Till didn’t mince words when he was also asked about now-former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and his recent departure from the promotion.
“If he’s not happy, he’s not happy, and if he’s been able to negotiate a deal to get out of his contract, then fair dos,” Till said. “If he feels like he’s not getting paid what he’s worth, then that’s on him, isn’t it? I’ve got a good relationship with Dana (White), Hunter (Campbell), and the guys, but obviously, I’d like to get paid more. I always said to Dana if I have a problem with the money, I’ll come to you direct.”
Ngannou, who became UFC heavyweight champion in March 2021 with a TKO victory over Stipe Miocic, only managed one title defense in his brief championship run. Contract disputes with the UFC ensued, as Ngannou was out of competition until Jan. 2022 before returning at UFC 270.
A five-round decision victory against Ciryl Gane put Francis Ngannou in a position to start making big moves throughout his reign as champion. Unfortunately, “The Predator” suffered a knee injury before the fight, and he was sidelined for a year. A potential return against former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in March was looming, but both parties couldn’t agree on the best deal for Ngannou.
According to an interview with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour,” Ngannou revealed that he was offered $8 million to fight Jones. Still, without the flexibility of wanting to box and pursue other combat opportunities, Ngannou turned down the most lucrative deal in division history.
It is unclear what Ngannou’s next move might be, although he also shared that he would like to fight at least twice in 2023.
Is Darren Till right about Francis Ngannou leaving the UFC on top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, Penn Nation!