Francis Ngannou reveals list of requests he made during UFC negotiations: ‘It’s not all about money’

Above all else, Francis Ngannou says he’s at peace.

Tuesday, Ngannou spoke for the first time on his UFC departure, which he said contractually occurred in December but just came to light Saturday.

“Overall, I’m good,” Ngannou said on “The MMA Hour.” “I have no stress. I feel very good about it. I’m very happy. I know that I did everything right. I don’t have any regrets. I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to do it again. I would do the same thing. I’m very happy. I’m very satisfied. On the other hand, this is a sport. This is business. I have my personal life in Cameroon. I’m with my family. At the end of the day, this is what matters. I have my balance in life. I’m doing very good. Don’t you worry about me.”

While Ngannou isn’t worried about himself, a lot of others are in varied capacities. Since news broke Saturday of his split from the UFC, he’s received a flood of messages and calls, which Ngannou said he’s largely tabled for a later time.

For Ngannou, the mental release that came with a massively-spotlighted and highly unusual decision was due to his confidence he did the right thing for himself and others.

Money was a part of negotiations, sure. Ngannou said he was offered somewhere in the same range as the $8 million Brock Lesnar reportedly made for UFC 200. However, a short list of non-monetary demands were not met in any capacity. That’s what really soured Ngannou.

“What I’ve learned is you don’t go to the table of negotiation expecting to have everything that you want. But at least you want your partner, the other side, to show your willingness or to at least try,” Ngannou said. “I asked for a lot of things, which doesn’t mean I was expecting all those things. I was expecting at least one or two of those things. I asked for the right of a sponsorship, which we’ve been reaped of. We can’t have sponsorship. I asked for health insurance. (I) couldn’t have (it). I asked for a fighter advocate, somebody in the board meeting who will advocate for the fighters. I asked for that. I couldn’t have those stuffs that I asked for. I just wanted (them) to know that there is something that I do want. I also wanted them to think (about) that, at least in consideration. ”

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After the UFC made it clear they would not entertain the requests, talks stopped but then resumed past the point of his contract completion. Out of respect for behind-the-scenes conversations, Ngannou said he did not publicly mention his free agency status as he continued to speak with the promotion, even as recently as last week.

“In that contract, I’m not free,” Ngannou said. “In that contract, I’m not independent contractor. I have no right. I have no power. I hand over all the power to you guys. I’ve seen in the past how you can utilize your power on me and I don’t want that to happen again.”

In the end, the two sides couldn’t come to a deal, as White officially put a fork in short-term talks with his announcement Saturday that Ngannou was no longer on the roster and had been stripped of his UFC heavyweight title.

Following UFC Fight Night 217, White announced news of Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight championship, which confirmed an accidental premature leak of the fight poster on the side of T-Mobile Arena earlier that day.

White attributed the split to Ngannou’s desire to fight lesser competition for more money, a notion Ngannou laughed at Tuesday and said the comments must have been out of frustration considering he angled for a new three-fight contract in the hopes of bouts vs. Jon Jones and one vs. Stipe Miocic.

“Saying things cannot hurt me,” Ngannou said. “From where I come from, I have hurt a lot more than that, yet I’m still here. What he said is what he said. It’s his problem. What I know is that I’m here and I have a good future and I think what he was expressing was frustration because it doesn’t matter what he said. Regardless, he’s upset. He’s not happy about the situation. He saw his champion go away, which is probably something that never happened to him. As a matter of fact, two years ago, there were betting on that. Like, ‘OK, you think you can leave the UFC? That’s never happened. Go ask Randy Couture.’ Then, I went and asked Randy Couture what happened and he explained to me. I’m like, ‘OK, this is a different situation.'”

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As for what’s next, Ngannou said plenty have promotions have reached out, particularly MMA ones. His prediction is that he likely fights in boxing sometime around July. Against who or for what promotion? Those are details to be figured out at a later date. For now, Ngannou will sit back and wait for the dust to settle – comfortably.

“The only thing that scares me is regret,” Ngannou said. “That’s the only thing that really scares me, things I’ll regret. So I always make sure I do everything that I can in my power in order to avoid regret. I feel like I don’t regret (this).”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie