Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane in his first heavyweight title defense at UFC 270. After some early struggles in the fight, Ngannou was able to gain momentum with his grappling and coast to a unanimous decision win.
Ngannou has been at odds with the UFC brass over an ongoing contract dispute and has requested more leniency and freedom. More specifically, he wants to explore a potential boxing match against Fury shortly, after the two of them have gone back-and-forth on social media.
During a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Thompson explained why Ngannou should think twice before considering leaving his MMA home for a fight in the boxing ring.
“That’s one of the things with the UFC,” Thompson said. “[Ngannou’s] the baddest man on the planet. He is the biggest and baddest dude on the planet at this point, especially in MMA. And making, what they say he made, $600,000 or something like that? And you got other heavyweights in the boxing industry making $30 million, so I kind of see why he’s a little upset.
“But, this isn’t boxing… If he’s not with the UFC, what’s he gonna do? Have that one fight with Tyson Fury and that’s it? Is he gonna go to heavyweight boxing? I think that would be a mistake for him, to be honest with you.”
Ngannou’s relationship with the UFC brass has become tense in recent months, and UFC President Dana White refused to put the belt around him at UFC 270. Ngannou has always been known to have some of the most powerful hands in MMA history and has flirted with a potential move to boxing.
It’s unclear if Ngannou will remain with the UFC past 2022, but Thompson thinks Ngannou may be making a mistake by leaving his throne in MMA to pursue a money fight in boxing.
Do you agree with Stephen Thompson that Francis Ngannou shouldn’t leave the UFC?