Michael Bisping has joined the camp that Francis Ngannou’s time is expiring.
Bare-knuckle boxing promotion BKFC held a pre-fight press conference earlier this week for its upcoming BKFC 41 event at the end of the month, featuring big debut matchups that feature new signings and former UFC champions Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez. During the presser, BKFC President David Feldman was asked about negotiations with another former UFC titleholder, Ngannou.
Feldman shared that the numbers being discussed — specifically Ngannou’s desired price — were “unrealistic” from BKFC’s perspective. Therefore, leading many in the combat sports community to worry that Ngannou has shot himself in the foot to a degree, considering how much BKFC has given to other notable names. With other MMA promotions still on the table, the aforementioned Bisping just doesn’t see anywhere outside the UFC working out for “The Predator.”
“Francis Ngannou ain’t going in the PFL season, no way,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “Listen, no disrespect to the PFL, but I don’t think their season can afford Francis Ngannou. [UFC] offered him one of the biggest UFC contracts the UFC has ever seen. They couldn’t come to a deal. BKFC, they’re throwing their money around. They couldn’t come to a deal. They said he’s asking for ‘unrealistic money.’ I honestly believe that the best bet for Francis Ngannou is to go back to the UFC.
“Dana [White] said he’ll never have him back. Now, I’m not gonna speak for Dana White or the UFC. But who knows, maybe cooler heads can prevail and maybe they can compromise a little bit and we might see Francis back in the UFC. I truly believe that’s his best fit. If he did go to boxing, it would be one-and-done. You never know, he might get the Hail Mary. The mother shot. He might land that shot that knocks one of those guys out. A Deontay Wilder, a [Tyson] Fury, or a [Anthony] Joshua. They’re all far better boxers. They hit harder and they’ve been doing it since they were kids. Ngannou cannot match the technical prowess that they have and if he did get a payday it would be one and done, but he ain’t gonna get a $25 million one. I think that’s what he’s holding out for and what the issue is and he’s pricing himself out of everything.”
Bisping made it clear to state that he wants Ngannou — and all fighters — to get the very best and the most money possible ... “The Count” just feels at this point, time is against Ngannou. The former UFC heavyweight champion is 36 going on 37 and hasn’t fought since January 2021, defending his crown via a unanimous decision against Ciryl Gane.
Ngannou has been adamant that he wants to have his pro boxing debut before returning to MMA and teased that he’s getting something worked on for the summertime. Nothing has come to fruition as of yet, however, and meanwhile over in the UFC, the new champion Jones is expected to collide with Stipe Miocic in early July.
“A lot of people are going for him,” Bisping said. “But so far, Francis Ngannou so far has not put pen to paper. I know for a fact BKFC, they’re paying some ludicrous money. They’re paying a lot of money to people. Apparently, Luke Rockhold and Mike Perry, they’re getting paid very, very handsomely.
“He’s not [the UFC champion] anymore. He’s the former. There’s Jon Jones out there. The more Jones fights, the more active he is, the more times he defends that belt, the more that diminishes the bargaining power of Francis Ngannou. Time is essentially running out.”
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Between the Links.
UFC 287 Pre-fight Press Conference highlights.
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UFC 287 Timeline.
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Run it back.
2023 Week 2 prep.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck answers the burning questions surrounding Pereira vs. Adesanya 2, Burns vs. Masvidal at UFC 287.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Bringing some vice back to Miami— UFC (@ufc) April 6, 2023
Our #UFC287 main card has arrived for the press conference!
Tune in live: https://t.co/tFiWUkqJEY pic.twitter.com/MpWmetpYFx
Yay or nay.
Here's your first look at the official #UFC288 poster— UFC (@ufc) April 6, 2023
[ Sat. May 6 | @PruCenter | https://t.co/iSEFCBODin ] pic.twitter.com/uqBqI2Dn8i
Good old social media.
No she didn’t lol. I never fought Fallon fox. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again. Stop using my photo (from a completely different fight) to push your personal agenda. Check your facts before you spread misinformation. https://t.co/h54hhpKSoO— Kay Hansen (@KayHansenMMA) April 6, 2023
me on the first day of 5th grade: #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/aMaMvGrg9B— MacMally (@MacMallyMMA) April 6, 2023
The chase for triple champ...
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 6, 2023
Will @PatricioPitbull become the first-ever 3️⃣ division champ? #Bellator297 | Fri, June 16th | @WintrustArena pic.twitter.com/cXvF34RANj
BREAKING: Alex Pereira CAN in fact smile #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/r2VZTozuEI— UFC (@ufc) April 6, 2023
Fans stopped Jorge Masvidal’s car to ask for selfies #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/fFyzY08igS— Carlos Contreras Legaspi (@CCLegaspi) April 6, 2023
That’s lazy EA for you.
Hey, in the game I look like I'm 15. What happened #ufc #game #mma pic.twitter.com/grFYzoEF1J— Sergei Pavlovich (@SPavlovich13) April 6, 2023
Just imagine Could we see Tawanchai vs. Chingiz Allazov?#WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/JE0NFJbrlY— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 7, 2023
.@MeganAnderson with 2️⃣fighters to look out for on tomorrow’s night card!— PFL (@PFLMMA) April 7, 2023
[Friday, April 7th | 10pm ET on ESPN2 & ESPN+ | #PFLRegularSeason] pic.twitter.com/GMkSpCY6MR
USADA, monitor us from the moment we get off the scale till we hit the arena on Saturday. Have people take shifts if they have to…no loopholes to jump here.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 7, 2023
“You’ve yee’d your last haw, partner.”
We’ve got a dance party at Holm.
Amanda Ribas (11-3) vs. Maycee Barber (12-2); UFC Jacksonville, June 24
Alexander Volkanovski (25-2) vs. Yair Rodriguez (16-3, 1 NC); UFC 290, July 8
As much as I admire Ngannou for holding his ground, and I too want him to get what he wants and deserves, I’d be lying if I said I don’t still terribly want that Jones fight to happen. Ultimately, it might simply be too late considering all that White has said though.
Happy Friday, gang. Have a great weekend full of good, safe, and positive fun. Tell your friends you miss them and maybe even hang out for a little while! Until Monday, thanks for reading!
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