When Tyson Fury invited UFC heavyweight champion Francis “The Predator” Ngannou into the ring after his sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte, it was a move no one expected.
“The Gypsy King” had already revealed his desire to retire after the fight, so bringing in Ngannou, who has been instigating a fight with the boxing champ via social media, was a plot twist that says a lot about where the fight game currently is.
However, it is unclear if Ngannou can pull it off while he is currently renegotiating his contract with the UFC.
Deal Or No Deal
“The Tyson Fury fight has to be part of the discussion,” Ngannou said on “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “That’s not an option. It has to be part of the discussion because if that’s not part of the discussion, it will never be.”
Ngannou’s UFC deal should have retired this year. However, when he defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in January, it activated the ‘champion’s clause,’ which added time. Ngannou says his contract is up in December when his recent knee surgery will be healed.
Ngannou claims he has been fighting for $500,000 or $600,000 per event, and he wants a new financial deal. In addition, Ngannou wants a fight with Fury, which the UFC would have to permit him to do in any new agreement.
“If I sign another contract now, basically the same model of the contract, I’m screwed. That’s not happening ever. So we have to figure out a way to implement this into a contract.
“I think the UFC is a good 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 the Jon Jones, there’s the Stipe trilogy. That’s a big fight I can do in the USA. Yes, I can do Tyson Fury on my own, but what next?”
As a heavyweight champion, Ngannou is an exciting knockout artist and one of the company’s biggest stars. The brand undoubtedly want to resign him, but the Fury request opens up a lot of challenges, namely the cantankerous relationship between UFC president Dana White and top rank chairman Bob Arum.
Boxing’s Heavyweight Champion standing next to the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Francis Ngannou says that him and Tyson Fury will fight under hybrid rules.
In a boxing ring but with MMA gloves. pic.twitter.com/UmndMNgyzX
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) April 23, 2022
Arum is Fury’s U.S. promoter. White and Arum notoriously do not like each other. However, White allowed Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. even though the two have delivered verbal jabs in the media.
“There’s big fights I can do in the UFC, and I would really like that to happen. I would really like us to get to a common point. Yes, I can do the Tyson Fury fight on my own, but what’s next? I would like to keep fighting. I would like for us to come to an agreement.
“We had a dinner with the UFC, and that wasn’t about the contract situation. That was just about clearing the air because it is clear at this point that we had to clear the air,” said Ngannou.
Clearing The Air
“It was just to clean things out, speak things out, and we kind of just spoke. I was speaking about my frustration, but also I had to go back home because it’s not a thing that’s supposed to be solved in one night or over one or two dinners.
“It might take some time. I went home and saw my family and came back and had the surgery. As far as business, we haven’t really moved on. I think just now what they’re trying to do is clear the air.”
Now Ngannou is using his desire to fight Fury as leverage, and it may be enough to get him what he wants.