Dana White declared that he would never return to the UFC after turning down their contract offer, and Francis Ngannou reacted angrily.
Ngannou addressed White’s remarks on his future standing with the promotion in an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA. He stated that he is unconcerned with the UFC president’s opinion of him or his judgement.
“I don’t give a damn what Dana White says, hey. That decision was mine, not his. He must therefore make atonement for that on his own. I’ve made amends, I’m good, and I want him to make amends as well.” [3:32 – 3:45]
The former UFC heavyweight champion also discussed his discussions with Jon Jones regarding a fight and how those talks fell through. He said that he attempted to bring about the match but thought the UFC president was using it as a negotiating tool, saying:
“You are aware of all the attempts and promises made, including the one for the winner of the match between Stipe and I to face Jon Jones, but nothing ever materialised. I therefore made every effort to have that fight. I just thought it was a bargain, so keep me, maybe do anything against my will just to get that battle. I wanted to fight, yes, but not at any cost.” [2:50 – 3:22]
A fight between “The Predator” and “Bones” is still the most lucrative bout for White in MMA, therefore it remains to be seen if Ngannou and White will eventually make amends and discuss a return to the company.
Has Dana White ever stuck to his promise of a fighter never returning to the UFC?
Dana White has previously asserted that a fighter would never return to the UFC, but he has brought them back while doing business.
The UFC president occasionally kept his word, even after making amends with competitors and welcomed them back to the promotion in the past. Former welterweight contender Paul Daley was one of the most well-known athletes who was never rehired by the company.
‘Semtex’ lost a unanimous decision against Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 in 2010 because the former TUF contestant outwrestled him and had total control of him on the ground throughout the whole fight. After the bell, Daley punched Koscheck before being promptly dispersed by the referee as he took out his wrath.
The UFC president declared that “Semtex” would never again compete in the promotion, even if he were to surpass all other pound-for-pound fighters during his post-fight news conference. Daley never competed in the UFC again after that night, proving that he never broke his commitment.