This weekend is UFC 270 and the focus should be on the main event. The main event is an undisputed heavyweight title fight between the champion Francis Ngannou (16-3) and the interim champion Ciryl Gane (10-0). Ngannou and Gane used to train together and both had the same head trainer.
There is a little bad blood between Ngannou and his former trainer. Everyone should be focused on UFC 270 for the heavyweight title fight that takes place. However, there is one storyline that is developing outside the cage that is grabbing a lot of headlines.
This weekend, Francis Ngannou will fight out of his current UFC contract. The champion is on the last fight of his current deal. Now, there is a champion’s clause to the contract that states if Ngannou remains the champion after Saturday, the UFC has him under contract for the next 12 months.
However, Ngannou said he would wait it out if he’s not given a new contract. Ngannou’s management recently said that the UFC nearly finalized a new deal with them over the summer, but when Ngannou couldn’t make their Houston PPV work, the contract offer was pulled.
UFC and Ngannou at a stand still
When you think of a classic heavyweight champion, you think of Francis Ngannou. A man with a tremendous life story, larger than life in reality, and he has devastating knockout power. Ngannou is the closest thing that the UFC has ever had to Mike Tyson.
The promotion should be promoting him like crazy, but for one reason or another, it doesn’t happen. Ngannou hasn’t been given the star treatment that he should and that’s likely being voiced by his management team. A management team that clearly doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Dana White.
If Francis Ngannou starches Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, the UFC needs to play ball. Ngannou could be the biggest star in the sport not named Conor McGregor if he’s promoted correctly. That said, if Ngannou loses on Saturday night, he might be done with the UFC for good.
There’s so much on the line Saturday night. Ngannou could be looking at a future where he’s the biggest star in the world. Or he could look down at the shattered glory with not a clue about what comes next.