Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou faced a barrage of criticism when he decided to part ways with the organization. However, Ngannou is poised to make a groundbreaking entry into the world of boxing next month, squaring off against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Speaking at the kickoff press conference for the upcoming event, Fury expressed his admiration, stating: “Everyone said he was an idiot for walking away from the UFC and now all of a sudden he’s a genius, isn’t he? Guy’s about to make $10 million. Come on! Egg in their face! Francis is going to make that bag. Rich!”
Ngannou and the UFC split up earlier this year when he declined to sign a deal with them to take on Jon Jones. Additionally, Ngannou acknowledged turning down around $8 million to take on Jones at the time.
Ngannou’s departure from the UFC was primarily motivated by his quest to secure comprehensive healthcare coverage and better sponsorships for fellow combatants. Additionally, the UFC’s reluctance to permit his participation in boxing matches played a pivotal role in his decision. This move marked him as the first reigning champion to depart the organization since B.J. Penn in 2004.
Fortune smiled upon Ngannou as he inked a deal with the PFL in what is now hailed as the most lucrative deal in the history of mixed martial arts. Furthermore, his impending foray into boxing promises to yield him the most substantial payday of his career thus far.
Francis Ngannou is being prepared by Mike Tyson for his upcoming boxing match against Tyson Fury. The International Boxing Hall of Famer shared insights on the upcoming bout during a recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show.
He said: “Tyson Fury, he got dropped by a small guy, I forgot his name, [Cunningham], early in his career, and listen, this guy, punches like God knows who. He’s an athlete, he moves quicker, I worked with his speed, and listen, he only has to land one or two. Tyson’s never been in the ring with a guy that can punch this hard. I think this guy punches harder than anybody he’s ever fought.”
When asked about what Ngannou must do to secure victory, Tyson responded: “He just needs to go all out aggression, punching to the body, bringing it to the head as we’ve been working with. He’s moving his head, he’s getting it together, and he’s really determined to do this stuff. He really wants to do this for his country, his people, his patriotic pride. This is really interesting. I’m very ecstatic about doing this.”