Chatri Sityodtong announced yesterday that he ONE Championship would not be making an offer to Francis Ngannou. He met with the former UFC light heavyweight champion in Los Angeles last weekend.
It was a long meeting by the sounds of it. But afterwards ONE Championship decided to withdraw from the race to secure Ngannou’s signature according to Chatri who told SCMP,
I met with Francis yesterday for almost 3 hours ONE has decided to withdraw from the process of bidding for Francis Ngannou’s services.
A dominant performance from your HW champ 👏🏆 #AndStill
— UFC (@ufc) January 23, 2022
ONE Championship announced the signing of Takeru on Friday. The Japanese kickboxer is a high profile addition to the roster and that news made headlines all over the world.
It seems Chatri had hoped to add the signature of Ngannou. But he appears to have lost interest after meeting with the Cameroonian fighter last weekend,
After careful reflection, we decided not to submit our final offer. Francis is a good guy and a good champion. I wish him continued success and happiness. At the end of the day, I didn’t feel Francis and I were fully aligned on non-financial matters. It is nothing personal. It is just a lack of alignment.
It means that Ngannou is potentially running out of options. The only remaining MMA promotions that could realistically compete for his signature are Bellator and the PFL.
But it is nearly 18 months since the 36 year old last fought and he is clearly coming to the end of his career. Ngannou might only have a handful of fights left and will need to resolve his situation soon.