Jose Aldo Thinks Francis Ngannou Leaving UFC Was A Mistake

Former UFC star Jose Aldo has stated his belief that Francis Ngannou made a big mistake by vacating the heavyweight title and leaving the promotion earlier this year.

“With all humbleness, I think Ngannou shot himself in the foot,” Aldo said on the Trocação Franca podcast. “He had everything to sign a great contract, the biggest in heavyweight, but this desire to be a boxing champion or to fight in boxing… People see the top of the boxing pyramid getting paid big numbers but forget that the lower part is paid so little. I think the UFC has bigger salaries than boxing.

“I see Ngannou tripping about a fight with Tyson Fury, a champion, who heavyweights aim at but don’t come anywhere near. It’s like saying I wanna play soccer because they get paid million but forget only five percent gets paid millions, the rest make way below that. People say that the UFC doesn’t pay that well, but it does. That’s why it’s the biggest organization. You can make money like [big] boxers can. Conor [McGregor], Ronda Rousey. People say women don’t make money and she’s made it, right?”

“He’s leaving the UFC and you can be sure that 50 percent of everything he is is off his name now,” Aldo continued. “Ronda, in order to make her movies, she had to be in the UFC. No one talks about Ronda now because nobody remembers her now. The UFC is elevated alongside the athlete. You need to be in there. You can have a partnership like Conor did with [the UFC for] Mayweather and that’s how he made millions.”

Everyone is still waiting to see what Ngannou’s next move will be as a free agent, but the PFL’s new Head Of Operations for Europe, Dan Hardy appears to be convinced that he’ll be signing with them within days.

“We’ll have Francis Ngannou in no time coming over and fighting for it,” Hardy told Middle Easy. “I just feel it in my bones. I know he’s coming. I just know he’s coming. I can just feel it. It makes sense. His demands for the UFC is exactly what the PFL are offering.”

So, by the sounds of things PFL would be willing to pay him handsomely to fight with them, while also still giving him a free reign to compete in boxing matches too if he chooses to do so.

As things stand that would feel like a large step down in competition for the 36-year-old star at this stage in his career though, with PFL’s heavyweight ranks currently being fronted by 2022 champion Ante Delija, who holds a 23-5 record but has little in the way of marquee wins on his record, while other notables in the division include UFC drop-outs like Maurice Greene, who went 4-4 in the Octagon, and Klidson Abreu, who went 1-2 (+1nc).

If he can still land a high-profile money-spinning boxing match with the likes of Tyson Fury on top of that then it could all work out for him, but Aldo is right to suggest that his star power could be devalued by no longer being attached to the UFC, and that’s only likely to become more of an issue the longer it takes to nail down that blockbuster fight.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.