Francis Ngannou and longtime coach Eric Nicksick threw some shade at the UFC and its CEO, Dana White, following news of Jon Jones’ withdrawal from the UFC 295 main event.
Fight fans around the world woke up to the unfortunate news that current UFC heavyweight champ Jon Jones was officially out of his highly anticipated clash against Stipe Miocic on November 11 after tearing his pectoral muscle while training. The injury will see ‘Bones’ undergo surgery and remain on the shelf for at least eight months, if not longer.
As a result, the light heavyweight title fight between former champions Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka has been promoted to the main event. The new co-main will now feature top-ten contenders Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall battling it out for the interim heavyweight championship.
Upon hearing the news, many within the MMA community, including Eric Nicksick, questioned why Stipe Miocic wasn’t booked for the interim title slot. “Any word why Stipe wasn’t included in the interim vs one of the other two??” Nicksick wrote on X.
Hours later, Nicksick took to social media once again and seemingly took a dig at the promotion by suggesting they had fumbled the bag.
For those unfamiliar, ‘fumbled the bag’ is a phrase that typically means to make a mistake or to fail at something. The phrase is often used to describe a situation in which someone has failed to achieve a desired result or has made an error that has led to negative consequences. It’s a term that became synonymous with Francis Ngannou after the former UFC champ cut ties with the promotion in search of greener pastures.
Francis Ngannou Defied the Doubters
After months in free agency without accepting multiple lucrative offers, fight fans began to suggest that Ngannou himself had fumbled the bag when it came to scoring a more favorable contract outside of the UFC. ‘The Predator’ often poked fun at the phrase, and at one point even posted a picture of himself sitting atop his Mercedes-Benz G Class sporting a Rolex watch and GymShark gear with the caption, “Just out here fumbling the bag.”
Of course, we all know how the story ends.
Francis Ngannou went on to sign a history-making deal with the Professional Fighters League that will make both him and his future opponents very wealthy individuals for the foreseeable future. But before he ever steps foot inside the PFL Smart Cage, Ngannou will cash in on a big-money matchup with reigning WBC heavyweight boxing world champion Tyson Fury.
The two men will step inside the squared circle in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Saturday, October 28. No official purses have been disclosed for the contest, but Ngannou will reportedly clear $10 million for the scrap scheduled for 10 rounds or less.