Marquel Martin, Francis Ngannou’s manager, recently shed some light on just how close the UFC got to re-signing ‘The Predator’.

Back in January, the then-UFC Heavyweight Champion was stripped of his title and released from his contract. The eyebrow-raising news followed years of issues between Ngannou and the UFC’s top brass. 

More recently, Ngannou confirmed a new deal with the PFL which will allow him to pursue boxing on the side among numerous other perks. Much to the dismay of fight fans, it appears Ngannou’s signing with the PFL maybe the final nail in the coffin of his dream fight with Jon Jones ever happening. 

“I Thought It Got Very Close” – Marquel Martin On Francis Ngannou Re-Signing

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Marquel Martin discussed negotiations with the UFC prior to Ngannou’s departure. He confirmed he did not have much to do with the numerous dinners Dana White has previously mentioned Francis Ngannou attending to discuss a new contract. Martin revealed Ngannou came close to signing at one point. 

“Yeah, I thought it got very close,” Martin confirmed. “I wasn’t a part of the conversations at, you know, the fourth quarter if you will, and you can probably guess why. In my conversations post those dinners, all that stuff, there was a real chance that he was going to sign. It just had to be under the right terms, people are saying ‘Oh, it’s all about money’ like, chill… This dude got offered the biggest contract outside of Conor before the interim fight with Ciryl and that.”

Ultimately, Ngannou turned down the lucrative offers on the table because there were other important factors to him beyond money. 

“He said no because it wasn’t just about money, obviously money plays a factor, right,” Martin said. “But there was other things that were important to Francis, and who am I to tell this dude no? Like who I am to say like ‘Nah,’ you know what I mean? Like ‘Do this deal.’ That’s not the person I am, that’s not the kind of manager I want to be, that’s not the kind of, like, business I want to do.”

Read Also: Jon Anik Assesses Whether Popular UFC Heavyweights Will Make PFL Move To Fight Francis Ngannou For $2 Million

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