Francis Ngannou has shut up all the doubters.
When all hope started to seem lost with the inclusions of Jon Jones and Dana White voicing interest in a Tyson Fury crossover boxing spectacle, Ngannou still came through and got his deal done. Announced this week, Oct. 28 will mark the combat sports return and pro boxing debut of the former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou when he faces Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The finalization of Ngannou vs. Fury comes after Ngannou signed with the PFL as an MMA fighter and brand ambassador. In the early months of Ngannou’s post-UFC free agency, many pundits throughout the MMA world started to worry for “The Predator” and felt he may have taken too much of a gamble. One of those with concern was Ngannou’s fellow former UFC heavyweight titlist Daniel Cormier, who now can’t help but take back his recent critique.
“First off, I’m sorry, Francis,” Cormier said on DC & RC. “I want to fumble your bag, too, Francis. Can I ask you a question? Do you have to be a little bit naive to go out in that world like that and know your value to the point that you will even when it looked dark to stand on your loyal and go, ‘It’ll happen for me.’
“Francis had just enough of that, and now he finds himself — he’s going to make more money than he ever could have imagined making in his entire life because guess what? They’re fighting in Saudi Arabia, which, somehow, literally just bought the PGA. How much money do you have to have to buy golf? Francis and Tyson Fury are going to make so much money, it’s crazy.”
Official numbers on exactly how much Ngannou and Fury are set to make haven’t been revealed yet. On Wednesday, however, Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin shared on The MMA Hour that Ngannou will make more off this single boxing match than he made in his entire 14-fight UFC career combined.
While Ngannou’s PFL debut and return to MMA are still anticipated to happen in 2024, this new deal is the definition of a lottery-type win. Therefore, Cormier questions whether or not Ngannou will end up fighting in PFL at all.
“It’s a crazy, crazy turn of events for Francis Ngannou, but we are both insanely happy for him,” Cormier said. “I want to be wrong in this situation. I’m happy that he’s getting paid in that way.”
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Everyone just sits and watches.
About to get this stem cells on my shoulder now— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) July 12, 2023
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I kind of still feel like this will be a “believe it when I see it” type case with Ngannou and Fury. Things look pretty good though.
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