Francis Ngannou says he is the champ, regardless of the UFC belt


Francis Ngannou’s departure from the UFC was shocking as he became the first reigning champion to walk away from the promotion since B.J. Penn in 2004. The mixed martial arts free agent believes that the heavyweight title is not what makes him a champion.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, ‘The Predator’ discussed the UFC heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, stating:

“I have no problem with that, and I don’t think it’s my belt. I have my own belt. They have to go to one. Everybody is doing his own stuff.”

When asked how he felt about the title fight being called undisputed, Francis Ngannou responded:

“I don’t care. I’m doing my stuff. I’m good. I’m happy. What do you think? You think I am a champion because of a piece of a metal? No. I’m not a champion because of a piece of metal. I’m a champion for who I am, for what I stand for, and I was a champion before the belt. I will still be a champion no matter what so I am the champ.”

Check out Francis Ngannou’s comments below:

Ngannou was originally in talks to face Jon Jones for the heavyweight title. ‘The Predator’ instead vacated the title as he was unable to agree to a new contract with the UFC. ‘Bones’ went on to face Ciryl Gane for the vacant belt at UFC 285, where he became the 18th undisputed fashion in promotional history, as he needed just over two minutes to submit his opponent.

Francis Ngannou’s departure: ‘The Predator’ feels Jon Jones should have sided with him in fighter pay battle

Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones traded words leading up to their bout that never happened. Despite this, ‘The Predator’ believes ‘Bones’ should have backed him in his dispute with the UFC, stating:

“I still do believe that in this situation, we could have been fighting on the same side. Having a rivalry at the opening doesn’t [mean we] have to avoid fighting for the same things. Jon, two years ago, was very vocal about the pay, about this, about that. Now, he switched like this. He’s just doing him. That’s his problem.”

Check out Francis Ngannou’s comments on Jon Jones below:

Ngannou noted that he was disappointed that Jones changed his stance. The former heavyweight champion requested that fighters be provided with health benefits, representatives in board meetings, and the ability to have sponsorships.

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