Dana White Confirms Fighter Is Done in UFC Forever: ‘It’s Over’

Dana White

Getty Dana White

UFC president Dana White said that former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will never return to the promotion.

“The Predator” parted ways with the UFC earlier this year in favor of free agency after the two parties couldn’t reach a deal. While speaking with the media after the UFC 285 ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday, White was asked about the possibility of Ngannou fighting inside the Octagon again — and the UFC boss wasted no time in shutting down the notion.

“No, we negotiated with him for years,” White said. “It’s over. That’s over, yeah. He’ll never be in the UFC again.”

The UFC president’s comments came a few days after an interview was posted on YouTube by The Schmo, who spoke with Ngannou about a potential promotional comeback. Like White, The Predator also dismissed the idea. “I think my situation is different than others,” Ngannou said. “It’s not like I got cut or something — I left. I think it would take a lot in order for me to come back. And I doubt that.”

At the end of the interview, Ngannou teased that an announcement was imminent. “Stay tuned,” The Predator said. “I will be coming out with some news very soon. Some big and good news.”

Anthony Smith Believes Jon Jones Would’ve Beaten Ngannou ‘Without a Mark on Him’

Top-ranked UFC light heavyweight and MMA analyst Anthony Smith was featured on MMA Fighting’s “The Fighter vs. The Writer” ahead of UFC 285. And “Lionheart” told the outlet that he believed Ngannou was an easier matchup for 205-pound GOAT Jon Jones than Ciryl Gane.

Jones and Gane will compete for Ngannou’s vacant throne on March 4. Had The Predator elected to stay in the UFC, he would’ve defended his strap against Jones — a superfight the MMA world was clamoring for.

“I thought Jon Jones would 50-45 Francis without a mark on him,” Smith said. “I’ve been wrong before, but I think Francis is one of the easier matchups for Jon. He’s going to be slower than Jon. He’s really predictable. Very, very predictable. You know exactly what you’re going to get when you run into Francis Ngannou.

“He’s not out here shooting double-legs, he’s not going to fight you in the clinch and start hitting you with Muay Thai elbows and knees. He’s throwing absolute bombs. Jon is long enough, he manages range well enough, and I think he’s faster and smarter and his skill set is rounder. He can get in, get out, he can pick at Francis from the outside, frustrate him, get him to open up with those wild bombs, clinch him, take him down, push him up against the fence. I think Jon gets in and out of a Francis Ngannou fight fairly simply.”

Ngannou Scored 1 Title Defense Before Leaving the UFC, Wants to Box

The Predator (17-3) became the undisputed heavyweight king in March 2021 when he knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. He defended the belt against Gane at UFC 270 in January 2022 and after being sidelined for a year with a knee injury, he left the organization.

Ngannou has been vocal about wanting to try his hands at professional boxing, and he’s taken aim at the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Both boxers have also expressed interest in battling the ex-UFC champ.

Most recently, Wilder stated that he’d be open to meeting Ngannou in a two-fight series, which included boxing and MMA. The Predator then tweeted that he was down to fight “The Bronze Bomber,” but just in boxing so Wilder “can keep his limbs.”

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