UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou still sounds like he wants to strike a new deal with the UFC. And while the financial terms of what Ngannou is looking for fall into a grey area, there is one thing Ngannou seems to feel must be on the table in any deal he signs with the promotion: a fight against WBC and The Ring heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
“The Tyson Fury fight has to be part of the discussion,” Ngannou said on The MMA Hour. “That’s not an option. It has to be part of the discussion, because if that’s not part of the discussion now, it will never be. If I sign another contract now, and basically the same model of a contract, I’m screwed. It’s not happening ever. So we have to figure out a way to implement this into a contract.”
Ngannou won the UFC heavyweight crown in March 2021 with a second-round knockout of Stipe Miocic. He defended that title in January 2022 with a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane. The Gane fight was the last bout on Ngannou’s contract with the promotion. With UFC deals now seemingly coming with a more definite endpoint (something formerly thwarted thanks to the ‘champion’s clause’) speculation is that Ngannou would be able to simply walk away from the promotion in January 2023.
That doesn’t appear to be something the ‘Predator’ is actually interested in doing, but he knows that is an option.
“I think the UFC is a great promotion and I want to keep fighting,” Ngannou said. “Tyson Fury is not my last fight. I want to keep fighting after Tyson Fury. There’s still a lot of fights out there. There’s Jon Jones, there’s a trilogy with Stipe [Miocic], there’s big fight I can do in the UFC, so I would really like that to happen. I would really like also to get to a common point. Yes, I can do Tyson Fury on my own, but what next? I would like to keep fighting. I would like for us to come to an agreement, but for that they have to have a good understanding of the situation.”
Ngannou is currently recovering from knee surgery. He said he could be ready to fight by the end of 2022.
As for Fury, he seems to be interested in facing Ngannou. After defending his title with a knockout win over Dillian Whyte on Saturday, Fury said of Ngannou, “Francis Ngannou was here today, he’s on my hit list in an exhibition fight. However he wants — in a cage, in a boxing ring, boxing gloves, UFC gloves, we can make it happen. I think everyone wants to see it. He’s a monster of a guy. I’m a monster of a guy. So it will be a clash of the titans for sure.”
Ngannou joined Fury in the ring on Saturday and said, “We’re going to find out who’s the baddest motherf-cker.”
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