There aren’t many people who see more fighters come and go than the UFC’s veteran voice of the octagon, Bruce Buffer.
A mainstay on the promotion’s front lines, it’s often wise council from Buffer. On his popular podcast, “IT’S TIME!!!“, he gave us his thoughts on a topic that’s becoming more and more relevant in the regular MMA news cycle: Fighters departing from the UFC.
This is something that’s even on the mind of UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou. However, Buffer advises him against the possibility.
“You become irrelevant when you leave the UFC, after a while.” Buffer said to Ngannou and others on his podcast.
“No offense to other organizations, but you become irrelevant when you leave the UFC after a while. Instead of losing in the UFC your contract is being ended in the UFC, and you fall from the Octagon down into Bellator [etc].”
Fighters leaving the UFC is always a hot-button topic.
Ngannou is currently in the middle of a ‘war for worth’ with the premier MMA provider. ‘The Predator’, widely known as the “baddest man on the planet” at the moment, is seeking fair treatment and pay that he deems fair for his accomplishments and standing. Ngannou has described his feelings towards his current situation, remarking that if this is truly the end of his UFC career… that, he’s still happy.
Francis last fought at UFC 271. As if another championship win wasn’t impressive enough, he did it on a largely destroyed knee. Francis made a statement in many different ways that night. From beating his former training partner, to fighting out his agreed UFC contract and establishing control of his relationship with the UFC. These accomplishments have made something even more special from the fighter that is Francis Ngannou.
After Ngannou’s recent title defense, it seems as if all the leverage belongs to Francis. The ball is in his team’s court, and now it’s up to them to decide what they want to pursue. There are many roads Francis and his team could take to reach their desired destinations.
Bruce Buffer’s excitement level towards Ngannou returning home to the UFC is clearly high, stating he’d go airborne and tear both of HIS knee’s if Francis ever joined Jon Jones in the octagon.
Granted, Francis is in a spectacularly unique position right now as a UFC Champion, and we all want him to make the decision that is best for his life and career.
Ngannou risked everything in his recent fight, competing in a compromised manner against his most familiar opponent to date. This reaped massive rewards that come in the shape of incentive and leverage. Position is power in combat sports, and Francis is sitting on his throne at the top of the game.
“Let’s just hope everybody gets together.” Buffer said of Ngannou’s situation with the UFC.
The veteran voice of the Octagon hopes the UFC can come to terms and satisfy their fighter’s needs.