Francis Ngannou’s rags to riches story will get a bit richer this coming weekend.
The UFC’s best heavyweight prospect in ages could make $500,000 for his title challenge against Stipe Miocic, he told SFR Sport in France in a video published last week. Miocic defends the UFC heavyweight belt against Ngannou in the main event of UFC 220 on Saturday in Boston.
Ngannou (11-1) was born in Cameroon and he said on the show that he immigrated illegally to France years ago. He worked as a bricklayer in Cameroon, he said, and did the work of two to three men. Ngannou, 31, has stormed onto the scene as an MMA fighter, winning his first six UFC fights by finish to earn this title shot.
Ngannou, who has since moved to Las Vegas where he trains at the UFC Performance Institute, is actually a slight betting favorite going in against Miocic.
On the show, the hosts talk about how much soccer players get paid, in the millions of dollars.
“Yes, but you must understand that my ascension in the ranks was very fast, but the numbers didn’t follow,” Ngannou said, translated into English.
Ngannou is coming off a first-round knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 last month, which was a runaway selection for KO of the Year. “The Predator” has only been past the first round twice in the UFC and those were in his first two fights.
(Correction: Ngannou said he could make $500,000 at UFC 220, but did not say it was his guaranteed pay. MMA Fighting regrets the translating error.)