Francis Ngannou opens up on previous negotiations with Chatri Sityodtong of ONE Championship: “This guy’s a performer”
Francis Ngannou is opening up about previous negotiations with Chatri Sityodtong of ONE Championship.
It was just yesterday, Tuesday, May 16th, that it became public that Francis Ngannou had signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
Ngannou parted ways with the UFC back in January of this year, and in doing so became a free agent.
‘The Predator’ is now commenting on promotions who have claimed they were in the running to land the heavyweight, but he wants to set the record straight.
It was in April that David Feldman, BKFC President, claimed Ngannou was ‘asking for unrealistic money’. Ngannou says he nor his team ever spoke with BKFC.
ONE Championship Chairman, Chatri Sityodtong, commented earlier this month that his promotion decided not to submit a final offer to Ngannou due to ‘lack or alignment’ on non-financial matters. Ngannou claims that’s not accurate, insisting that his meetings with ONE Championship came after he had already made the decision he would be moving forward with the PFL.
Ngannou, speaking to Ariel Helwani on ‘The MMA Hour’ spoke about Chatri and ONE Championship saying:
“I think Chatri was just performing. I told him and Matt Hume that I got the best offer PFL and I don’t think, I’m not going to do any negotiation with you guys. That was like back, six weeks before that. And he was like, ‘Oh, I can fly you to Singapore, I can fly to Cameroon! I got this!’ He was all in. I was like, this is too much. I don’t know how to handle this. How are you going to fly to Cameroon? What for? I just told the guy the situation and then he kept pushing. Then I sent it to my team, ‘I can’t handle this pressure from Chatri.’ Then he kept pushing, kept pushing. … So I have to see him, for respect. We had a talk, I respect the guy. Matter of fact, I love Chatri. Before this, I was like, I like this guy, I like his story. Now I even question if that story is true. But I used to love that story.”
Continuing Francis Ngannou spoke about the meeting with Chatri (h/t MMAFighting)
“So we met in L.A. and I was just upfront before anything started. ‘Listen, this is the thing. I have told you this. I’m favoring PFL right now.’ Then he was like, ‘Why did you get me here?’ I’m like, ‘To listen. First of all, I respect you. And even if I sign with PFL, someday comes that you say, I want to meet you, Francis. You didn’t say that you want to meet me on business. You were with my team, talking business, and then you said you want to meet me. So sounds like it’s not business anymore, right?’”
The 36-year-old continued to discuss Chatri’s pitch:
“So then he starts to show me all this stuff, screenshots — I think he showed me 13 screenshots — all these statistics how ONE FC is the second-most viewed in the sport. He has more views on YouTube than Premiere League, than NFL, than NBA. He has a lot of those. I’m like, hold on a minute. Anyway, that was the whole meeting. At some point I was like, OK, it’s good, I respect this guy, and I took this meeting, I don’t want to be rude, but I was just coming out of an 11-hour flight and I had another flight to take to go back home. I thought it would be like a one-hour (meeting), and I find myself over two hours. I have to drink three or four cups of coffee, listening to all those statistics, how ONE FC is in Asia, Asia is 4.6 billion people, they’re going to do this, they showed me how ONE FC is going to explode, I’m going to be like Nelson Mandela. Bro, it was a hell of a performance. I applaud Chatri for his performance.”
Speaking about ONE claiming they withdrew their offer, Francis Ngannou said:
“I was respectful. … You have a guy you admire and was talking, even though you weren’t in, you were listening. I was listening, I gave the time. … We talked. Nice. Then next day, Andrew sent me a screen shot of ONE FC decided to withdraw their offer. I’m like, which offer are you talking about? The offer wasn’t taken in consideration. You can’t withdraw an offer that wasn’t taken. ‘Not financially related, I just didn’t feel the energy.’ Really? You sit there and speak for three hours, and you didn’t feel the energy? You could have cut that meeting at any time.”
“I know that at the end of the day, I’m going to come out and I’m going to call him out if he does something in that regard. If he lied, I’m going to call him out along the way. That’s why the next day I started seeing, he switched on his own. It went from ‘withdraw’ to ‘Francis was asking too much.’ How do you withdraw a deal that somebody was asking too much? Which one is it? Which one is the truth? It can’t be both together.”
Concluding, and setting the record straight, Ngannou said:
“I saw that and that’s when I thought, ‘Oh, this guy’s a performer.’ That’s when I put out the tweet, ‘Some of those promoters out there, they are two-faced’. But at least for Chatri, I spoke with him. I can’t deny that. I spoke with him, I met him in person, we exchanged text messages, but this guy David Feldman, I don’t know that guy.”
At the end of the day, ONE Championship, BKFC, it really doesn’t matter as Ngannou has signed with the PFL.
Francis Ngannou hopes to show off his skills in the boxing ring next and make his MMA debut with PFL in 2024.
And, to those who don’t believe in Francis Ngannou, he has one final message:
“Some people might be waiting for me to lose. All I can say is that I’m sorry for them. I only have tissues for them to wipe their tears, because I’m winning.”
Are you looking forward to see Ngannou in the boxing ring this year and then making his PFL debut in 2024?
Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!
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