Francis Ngannou claimed the UFC undisputed heavyweight title recently when he bested Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270. The win not only improves Ngannou’s standing as the best heavyweight in MMA, it also helps in his current contract negotiations with the UFC.
‘The Predator’ has been highly vocal about his frustration with his current contract and claims he has turned down multiple offers to extend the deal. He said he turned down those offers despite more money being offered.
Ngannou has claimed that, in addition to higher purses, he also wants more independence so that he can pursue opportunities outside of the Octagon. Notably, Ngannou has expressed his interest in returning to boxing and taking on current number one heavyweight Tyson Fury.
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired from MMA under his own terms back in 2020, recently gave his opinion on the situation.
He told Sky Sports that he understands why Ngannou might want out of his UFC deal for the chance to face Fury. However, ‘The Eagle’ warned that he didn’t see his fellow MMA fighter finding much success boxing ‘The Gypsy King’.
“If they fight in the UFC yeah, Fury doesn’t have too many chances,” he said. “But in boxing, I don’t see anyone even touching his face… I think he [Ngannou] has to stay with the UFC. But if he goes to boxing and he’s making 50 or 60 million dollars – he has to. Why not? I know Ngannou comes from a very, very poor life in Africa. He was with no money, no home, nothing. So if someone pays you more money then go and take.”
Nurmagomedov added that, in his opinion, Ngannou would be risking his legacy if he left MMA’s grandest stage.
“If you want to make history, become the greatest heavyweight of all time, then you have to stay in UFC.”
Ngannou’s win over Gane extended his current win streak to six fights and improved his overall record to 17-3. During his recent run Ngannou has only gone the distance once (against Gane) and finished all other opponents with strikes.
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