Francis Ngannou has silenced all skeptics.
Just when things were starting to look bleak, with Jon Jones and Dana White expressing interest in a Tyson Fury crossover boxing extravaganza, Ngannou proved them wrong and successfully clinched his deal. The former UFC heavyweight champion, Ngannou, will be making his professional boxing debut against Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28th, as announced this week.
The fight between Ngannou and Fury materialized after Ngannou joined PFL as an MMA fighter and brand ambassador. In the initial months following Ngannou’s departure from UFC, several MMA commentators expressed concern about Ngannou, nicknamed “The Predator,” thinking he may have taken a substantial risk. One of them was Daniel Cormier, a fellow former UFC heavyweight champion, who now feels obligated to retract his prior criticism.
“I want to apologize to you, Francis,” Cormier stated on his DC & RC podcast. “I’m curious, do you have to be a tad naive to enter such an environment, be aware of your worth and stand by your loyalty, even when things seem bleak? Francis had just the right amount of this and now he is about to earn more than he could have ever imagined in his entire career.”
The actual amount that Ngannou and Fury are set to earn from the fight hasn’t been disclosed yet. But on Wednesday, Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s manager, mentioned on The MMA Hour that Ngannou’s earnings from this single boxing match will surpass his total earnings from his entire 14-fight UFC career.
Ngannou’s PFL debut and his return to MMA are expected to happen in 2024. However, given his lucrative new boxing deal, Cormier is questioning whether Ngannou will even compete in PFL.
“It’s an incredibly unexpected sequence of events for Francis Ngannou, but we are both tremendously pleased for him,” Cormier said. “I want my previous doubts to be proven wrong, and I’m glad that he is being compensated like this.”
Recovery. Francis Ngannou’s representative comments on Tyson Fury’s payment: ‘The amount is so immense, he might just drop it on the way to the bank.’
Break. Bo Nickal potentially taking a break until 2024, indifferent if his popularity wanes in the interim.
Legal Matters. Report: Chael Sonnen reaches plea deal in hotel brawl case.
Rivals. Georges St-Pierre hints at Nick Diaz, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington as intriguing options for his comeback.
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It still seems like I’ll believe it when I see it regarding Ngannou and Fury. But things are looking promising.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Francis Ngannou
Who is Francis Ngannou going to fight in his professional boxing debut?
Francis Ngannou is set to fight Tyson Fury in his professional boxing debut in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
What was the concern about Ngannou’s career decision?
The concern was that Ngannou may have taken too much of a gamble by moving away from UFC and taking on a crossover boxing match with Tyson Fury.
How does Daniel Cormier feel about Ngannou’s decision now?
Daniel Cormier has retracted his prior criticism and now feels that Ngannou’s decision was a good one. He is pleased to see Ngannou earn more money than ever before.
How much is Ngannou expected to earn from the fight with Fury?
The exact amount has not been disclosed yet. However, Ngannou’s manager mentioned that Ngannou’s earnings from this single boxing match will surpass his total earnings from his entire 14-fight UFC career.
When is Ngannou’s PFL debut expected to happen?
Ngannou’s PFL debut and his return to MMA are expected to happen in 2024.