UFC president Dana White is concerned with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s recent comments about boxing, ahead of his showdown with Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
Ngannou will make his first heavyweight title defense against his former MMA Factory teammate Gane. It is arguably the most highly-anticipated heavyweight matchup in UFC history and features two of the most skilled athletes in the sport.
Despite the massive fight, various topics have come to the surface outside of the bout itself. Gane and his head coach have brought up the topic of sparring sessions, while Ngannou has alluded to a possible move to boxing to fight Tyson Fury.
During a recent interview on The Jim Rome Show, White questioned Ngannou’s motivation heading into UFC 270.
Dana White Isn’t Sure If Francis Ngannou Is Mentally Invested In UFC 270
“You’re talking about you don’t want to fight under your contract, you’re talking about – he gets a piece of pay-per-view, whatever we sell, like all the other champions do,” White said. “You’re worried about all these other things, ‘I want to box Tyson Fury, I want to do this, I want to do that.’ You’re the underdog on Saturday night. You’re not some huge 10 to one favorite, and you want to move on. Focus on (this): beat Ciryl Gane. Win this fight, then you can start talking about the possibility of other things.”
White and Ngannou haven’t seen eye to eye for quite some time, but things have become tense since he first earned the heavyweight title. He’s requested more money and negotiations with the UFC brass have remained stagnant ahead of UFC 270.
If Ngannou is able to put on an impressive performance against Gane, he would almost certainly get a new contract with the promotion. But, a defeat could make things unclear in negotiations, and the UFC may ultimately choose to move on.
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