UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s manager was allegedly threatened with a lawsuit by the UFC for engaging in talks with Jake Paul‘s team.
Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane over the weekend via a unanimous decision at UFC 270. Like Ngannou, Paul has been vocal about the issue of fighter pay and the UFC.
It’s unclear what the context of the initial reach out was, but Paul’s team allegedly contacted Ngannou’s management leading up to the fight. During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Ngannou explained what happened once the UFC found out that Paul’s team was looking to connect with him.
Francis Ngannou’s Management Was Contacted By Jake Paul’s Team
“My manager said he received an email from the UFC saying they were going to sue him,” Ngannou said. “Nakisa [Bidarian]. I don’t know him, but someone from Jake Paul’s team reached out to us. I was like ‘Is he a promoter or something?’. But it doesn’t look like they don’t want to talk to me anymore. I don’t him, I couldn’t recognize him if you put him in front of me.”
In addition to making waves in the world of boxing, Paul has also been supportive of various UFC fighters who have spoken out on the fighter pay issue. Ngannou has been one of the biggest names in the promotion to go toe-to-toe with the UFC regarding how fighters are treated financially.
Ngannou’s win over Gane was the second to last fight on his current UFC deal. However, it’s unclear if he’ll fight again later on in the year as he undergoes knee surgery and continues negotiations.
Before the fight with Gane came to fruition, Ngannou was expected to face former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones next. But negotiations never materialized as Jones and Ngannou both wanted a big paycheck.
Ngannou could be on the verge of becoming a free agent, and it’s certainly possible he may be in touch with Paul’s team in the future.
What are your thoughts on Francis Ngannou‘s contract situation?