Francis Ngannou Explains Why He Turned Down Short Notice Opportunity At UFC Moscow

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos and former Bellator MMA Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov were set to headline UFC Fight Night Moscow, but JDS suffered an injury and was pulled from the card.

Francis Ngannou was asked to replace Dos Santos at the event, but says the short notice opportunity wasn’t worth it.

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“Obviously, two days ago they called my manager if I wanted to fight,” Ngannou said to TMZ Sports (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “Like, when? Of course I want to fight. Where and when, with who? ‘In 18 days.’ Really? For what purpose? What is the goal for this fight because it’s a step down for me. We’re talking about what, a title shot guarantee, a contract renegotiation, what? ‘No, we’re not talking about that. Just a fight.’ So we think about it and we’re like, what is the purpose to risk to go to the fight without a training camp because it’s just 18 days. This fight was announced maybe two months ago. We prefer, okay let’s put the fight, Alexander Volkov and I in Las Vegas, which is like, in almost eight weeks, seven to eight weeks. That would make more sense. By then I’ll have a good training camp, appropriate training camp for the fight.”

Greg Hardy wound up accepting the short notice opportunity and now fights Volkov in the co-main event of the show.

Ngannou has his sights set on a UFC Heavyweight Title shot, but the fighter hasn’t heard anything from the UFC yet.

“I’m just going crazy. I took a quick trip to Hawaii. It wasn’t planned but I was just out there in Vegas going crazy, trying to have a fight,” Ngannou said. “I do this for living. I do this to put food on the table for me and to provide to my family. I’ve been asking for a fight since my last fight. I was still inside the octagon when I asked Dana face to face, ‘Do I get a title shot?’ He said let’s see how it plays out in August. Then after August I didn’t have news, trying to find out what happens, what’s next. Even more than two months after August, I still don’t have a fight."

UFC Fight Night Moscow takes place on Saturday, November 9 from the CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia with Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.

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