Randy Couture is detailing the role he played in the Francis Ngannou / UFC negotiations.
The former Hall of Famer, Couture (19-11 MMA) retired in 2011 at the age of 47.
Francis Ngannou (17-3 MMA) parted ways with the UFC earlier this year after the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. With his release, ‘The Predator’ was stripped of the heavyweight title.
Now a free agent, the possibilities are endless for the 36-year-old fighter.
It was during an interview with ‘MMA News‘ that Randy Couture spoke about Ngannou’s exit from the UFC saying:
“We’ve heard a few athletes at that level, those marquee guys, top three to five percent of the sport chirping about fighter pay and the lack of transparency, certainly with the UFC. Something I’ve been chirping about for quite some time with little or no backing or anybody else that agreed with my stance…Francis stood up for himself. Obviously, he trains at my gym, but I had no conversation with him. I certainly talked with (Coach Eric Nicksick) about this situation and how I saw it.”
Randy Couture continued:
“I’m glad he stuck to his guns, I think the UFC stepped up in the amount of money that they were willing to give him to re-sign a contract, and I think the other things that Francis asked for weren’t out of the question. They were reasonable things. Things that any other athlete in any other sport in our society would be getting. But, the fact that the UFC wasn’t willing to meet him there, they dropped him…”
Couture shared his hopes for what is next for Ngannou:
“I’m hoping that the PFL jumps all over Francis and signs him, he’d be a great addition to the heavyweight division. I’d pay to see him and Ante Delija, or any of these heavyweights that we have in the PFL…I know he has some aspirations in boxing as well, is Tyson Fury a good idea? I’d think that Francis needs to really get his feet under him in the boxing world before he takes on a Tyson Fury…”
As for the role Couture played in the negotiations, he clarified:
“I didn’t have any input there other than the talks I had with Eric. He’s the one directly related in coaching Francis and helps Francis certainly on the technical side. I’m not sure who exactly manages Francis, honestly, and I never talked to his management. His management would be the people negotiating for him with Dana White and Zuffa…”
Concluding Couture said:
“Any input I had, was my dealing with Dana and the company back in the day, that was never directly with Francis, that was just with Eric. So that’s the extent of it as far as I’m concerned. I was happy he was standing up for himself and doing what he felt he needed to do to get a fair shake and get his piece in the marketplace for what he’s brought to the UFC.”
Randy Couture currently serves as a lead commentator for PFL (Professional Fighters League) events.
Not unlike Ngannou, Couture fought for better fighter treatment during his career with the UFC.
What do you think of Couture’s comments concerning Ngannou’s departure from the UFC?
Would you like to see Francis Ngannou sign with the PFL?
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