Francis Ngannou has a very strong claim to being ‘the baddest man on the planet’ and he wants to get paid accordingly.
The UFC heavyweight champion will defend his belt against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, but he will earn significantly less in that fight than his boxing counterparts. The Cameroonian recently appeared on the MMA hour, where he was asked if he was unhappy that the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder scored a much bigger payday. To which he replied,
“Well, it [MMA] is more difficult [than boxing]. I feel I should not be needing to borrow money for my training camp. At some point, I’m gonna go after those money. I’m gonna go to that boxing for sure… I’m not challenging the system, I’m just saying my right,” said Ngannou. (h/t SportsKeeda)
As per the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Fury and Wilder have a guaranteed purse of five million dollars plus the proceeds from the Pay-Per-View. After all that is taken into account plus additional sponsor revenue – it is estimated that Fury will take around $30,000,000 USD and Wilder will earn close to $20,000,000 USD.
It’s easy to see how Ngannou might be lured into the squared circle. And it’s not only the potential for bigger cheques that could turn his head. The UFC’s decision to do an interim title fight between Gane and Lewis at UFC 265 has left the champ feeling disrespected.
“From what I’m seeing, the UFC is trying to discredit me. That’s what I know. And those promoting somebody cannot work together with discrediting him. You don’t do that to somebody that you want to promote,” said Ngannou.
“What do I look for? First of all, I look for some respect, that’s to start. Then I look to get stuff right, I look to feel like I’m respected, to feel like they care at least. That’s it. I never asked for anything more than that. That would be enough for me. … I gained the position that I am at,” Ngannou added. “I wasn’t nominated, I wasn’t assigned to be here, I earned it. So that means I deserve a little bit of respect, just a little bit. I’m not a big deal, just a little famous, that’s it. (Laughs).”
Ngannou faces arguably the toughest test of his career at UFC 270. If he pulls it off – he’ll be worthy of more than just respect. Gane has a perfect 10-0 record and bookmakers are picking the Frenchman to become the undisputed champ. But Ngannou will take some beating. The 35 year old looked to have evolved significantly as a martial artist in his last outing. And let’s not forget that all 11 of his professional victories have come via stoppage. Needless to say, we should all enjoy him while he’s here.
Do you think Ngannou will transition to boxing one day?
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