Francis Ngannou has been very vocal about his desire to ink a new contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that will not only give him a huge bump in pay, but also the chance to branch out and box. Speaking of “The Sweet Science,” Ngannou has also been open about his goal to challenge current WBC and The Ring Heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury.
Of course, UFC’s 265-pound king has a huge obstacle in front of him before any of that comes to fruition in the form of Ciryl Gane, who he will face this Sat. (Jan. 22, 2022) at UFC 270 in a title unification bout. According to UFC president Dana White, the problem he has with Ngannou is that while he is calling for a raise and a boxing match, he still has to defeat a hungry interim champion who is the favorite in the fight.
“That’s part of my problem with this whole thing. You are talking about you don’t want to fight under your contract, he gets a piece of pay-per-view (PPV) like all the other champions do,” explained White during a recent interview with Jim Rome.
“You worry about all of 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. You are not some huge 10 to 1 favorite. Focus on beating Ciryl Gane. Win this fight and then you can talk about the possibility of other things.”
If Ngannou is overlooking Gane it would obviously be a huge mistake because “Bon Gamin” is 10-0, 7-0 UFC and is looking to level up. And that’s just what White says makes the Frenchman a big threat to Ngannou, because while “The Predator” wants more, Gane wants what his foe already has.
“Let’s be honest. Francis Ngannou is in a position where he has made a lot of money and he is building a big house in his home country of Africa, he is building gyms for kids over there and doing all these other things,” added White. “Ciryl Gane wants what this guy has. You got that guy who is coming up and is hungry.
“Nobody ever has enough money. Nobody is ever going to say, ‘They are paying me too much, I got too much money.’ But this guy (Ngannou) has made some real money and he is out there spending it and doing his thing…Ciryl Gane wants that real money now.”
With a win, Gane will surely be looking at a pay increase himself as UFC’s undisputed champion. A loss for Ngannou, meanwhile, would be catastrophic because he will lose a ton of leverage when it comes time to re-up his deal.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 270 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 270: “Ngannou vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.