When Francis Ngannou made the decision to part ways with the UFC, there was a lot of criticism aimed at his decision making. Even when his deal with the PFL was announced, comments that he ‘fumbled the bag’ were being thrown out here, there, and everywhere.
Cut to present day and the former UFC heavyweight champion is set to box Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia this Saturday night in the biggest possible fight he could have secured.
In an appearance on The MMA Hour, Fury gave his thoughts on Ngannou’s UFC departure and whether he picked the right options.
Fumbled the bag?
Speaking purely from a pay perspective, “The Gypsy King” agreed with Ngannou’s decision to leave the promotion, rationalising that the heavyweight title is simply worth more than he was earning at the time.
“I’m not too sure of the comments that he fumbled the bag because 600,000 is his biggest purse and 600,000 is a hell of a lot of money,” Fury said. “Not for the heavyweight champion of the world, but if I was to try and earn 600,000 from a normal 9-5 job, probably take me about 452 years.
“But, for the heavyweight champion of the world, I think Francis and everybody else in sport knows that after winning the UFC heavyweight championship, then to go on and box any heavyweight ranked in the top 10, was probably going to make a lot more than 600,000, so that’s one point to point out.”
Fury: Ngannou vs. Jones Is Worth More Than $10 Million
Fury went on to say that he had heard talks surrounding how much the UFC was willing to pay Ngannou to keep him around and have him fight the returning Jon Jones.
While not many wanted to see the heavyweight champion leave the promotion, the biggest blow was losing a potentially huge fight between Ngannou and arguably the greatest to ever do it.
“Another is, I’m sure I read and heard that when he was leaving, he was offered eight or 10 million dollars to fight Jon Jones, I’m not sure how true that was.”
Ariel Helwani clarified that the deal was likely for multiple fights, rather than earning that sum of money for one defense of his title.
In response, Fury said that a fight of that magnitude between two big names in the sport should be worth a lot more than the sum Ngannou was being offered.
Multi-fight deals aside, the WBC heavyweight champion stands by Ngannou in demanding to be paid his worth off of that one proposed fight alone.
“Well I think him and Jon is definitely worth more than 10 million, for sure. I would definitely say him and Jon Jones is at least a 10 million each fight, not collectively, not to do 10 fights each or whatever, just a one-off single fight,” Fury insisted. “I would love to believe that that does a lot more than 10 million each on pay-per-view and that’s the fight that after I fight him, I’m sure he’d love to go and fight Jon.”
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