Francis Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin recently appeared on the MMA Hour to speak about his plans for “The Predator.” One of the things mentioned was a possible tune-up fight for the former UFC heavyweight champion.
However, UFC veteran Matt Brown doesn’t see this as a good idea, as he urges Ngannou to get himself the big fights and get paid.
Tune-up fight planned for Francis Ngannou
As Martin told Ariel Helwani, they are considering options for Francis Ngannou and are currently looking at a high-profile boxing match. But if no big-named opponent will be available, they will settle for a tune-up.
“We’d love if one of the big fights present itself, but it seems like they’re kind of tied up,” Martin said. “So I guess tune-up fight. Francis isn’t a traditional boxer, so every fight is a big fight. But I know Francis wants to challenge himself.
“Obviously, you see Deontay out there, Anthony Joshua out there, Tyson Fury out there, we’d love that matchup. I think that’s something that has a narrative and a story behind it that’s bigger than just the fight game, and at the same time, we want to see who the baddest man on the planet is.”
UFC veteran Matt Brown urges Francis Ngannou to get paid
But for UFC veteran Matt Brown, Ngannou should go after the massive payday, especially now that he’s out of the UFC and able to freely pursue other endeavors.
“He needs to go for the big payday. It sounds like he wants to be a serious professional boxer maybe, if he’s talking about doing a warm up fight to get into it,” Brown said on MMA Fighting.com’s The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast.
“I guess that’s a different path but now you’re taking a risk. Maybe you’re not that good. You don’t know.”
For Brown, Ngannou is at a place of uncertainty because of his lack of experience in boxing.
“You haven’t f–ng boxed, bro. You weren’t in the Olympics. You didn’t do an amateur career. You don’t f–ng know. When you don’t know, go for the payday.
“Go for the f–ng payday. What are we doing here? Quit f–ng around here. Get the payday and be done with it.”
Brown says Francis Ngannou has a good chance against Anthony Joshua
Observers like UFC president Dana White have dismissed Francis Ngannou’s chances against high-profile heavyweight boxers, calling it a “gimmick” fight. But for Brown, the Cameroonian KO artist isn’t getting enough credit.
“He probably has a better chance against [Anthony] Joshua than I think people give him credit for. I think Joshua is 10 times a better boxer, he has the experience [but] he’s a little chinny. He does not like getting hit. That is his flaw that he’s dealt with for a long time,” said Brown.
“He does not like getting hit, and if Francis actually shows him that power, even touches his gloves hard, Joshua might start cowering down a little bit. It probably comes across like I’m putting him down or something.
“He’s absolutely an amazing fighter, and I have the utmost respect for him, but that’s certainly the knock on him is his chin and his ability to take shots.”
Based on this assessment, Brown urged Ngannou to go after the Joshua fight, which he says has the “lowest risk.”
“Joshua is the one, in my opinion, that makes the most sense. If I’m Ngannou and I’m chasing boxing, I go for Joshua. He’s the lowest risk. He’s not a big knockout guy. He’s probably the most chinny of all the guys.
“You know you’re going to sell big in the U.K. and you’re probably going to sell well in the U.S. because it’s Francis Ngannou. So you’ve got a huge, worldwide audience that’s going to pay for that.
“Joshua is a big name with the lowest risk. That’s the one I go for.”
Ngannou signed a highly lucrative deal with PFL in May. He is expected to make his debut in 2024.
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