UFC: Senegal’s Francis Ngannou Retains Heavyweight Crown

Francis Ngannou defeated Cyril Gane at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California to retain his heavyweight title before facing questions about his future amid a contract dispute with the promotion.

In the run-up to the fight, the Senegalese fighter revealed he had torn ligaments in his knee and changed strategy to deal with the threat of his former sparring partner Gane.

“I believe I have the ability to do this (fight). I believe in myself. I’ve been through a lot in my life,” Ngannou said at a news conference after the match on Saturday night.

After moving to France to become a boxer, the 35-year-old was homeless for a period before joining Fernand Lopez’s gym, the MMA Factory in Paris, where he slept while being moulded into one of the sport’s most feared fighters.

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The California State Athletic Commission reports Ngannou’s purse for the title defence was $600,000, a fraction of what he could earn in a boxing match with the likes of Tyson Fury.

However, the fighter feels he deserves more, considering that the fee does not include any potential share of the pay-per-view revenue.

“It’s not simply money. Obviously, money is a part of it, but it’s also the terms of the contract. I don’t agree with it, I don’t feel like it’s fair, I don’t feel like I’m free, I don’t feel like I have been treated good,” Ngannou told reporters.

UFC president Dana White did not attend the press conference following the fight.

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In the co-main event, Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Mexican Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision to regain the flyweight belt he lost the last time the two met in June 2021.

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