Former UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has weighed in on Francis Ngannou’s UFC exit.
Ngannou’s contract was coming due and he and UFC officials had a decision to make. Negotiations to renew Ngannou’s deal failed, and he is no longer a member of the UFC roster. As a result, Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will compete for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 285 on March 4.
During a media scrum backstage at UFC 284, Adesanya told media members that he respects Ngannou’s decision to look elsewhere (via MMAJunkie).
“Francis made the right call,” Adesanya told reporters backstage at UFC 284. “He’s the one that kicked in the door. We’ve all been behind him. We’ve been saying this for how long? If you guys go back on the tapes, I’ve been saying the same thing. I’m not going to harp on about it, but he’s right. It’s little things. He’s asking for things that should be mandatory.
“He wasn’t asking for, you know, crazy, ridiculous diva demands. There’s something as little as for the guys fighting on the opening (bouts), having the fourth or third corner man being paid for, and the hotel is being paid for. That sets them up nicely, and they don’t have to fork it out of their $10K and $10K, or maybe even $10K, to pay for their fourth or third corner man – little things like that.”
Israel Adesanya went on to express his belief that the way UFC does business needs to change. He is optimistic that positive change will happen for MMA fighters.