Francis Ngannou is finally free to pursue his dream of competing in the boxing ring now that the UFC has officially announced that 'The Predator' is a free agent. Ngannou has been seeking a bout with heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury for quite some time.
Earlier this week, during the post-fight press conference for UFC Vegas 67, Dana White announced that negotiations with Ngannou had fallen through, and that Jon Jones would return to the octagon to challenge Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight throne.
The UFC waived its exclusive negotiating window, and there is no price-matching clause, which means that Francis Ngannou is free to negotiate with other MMA and boxing promotions.
The biggest factor in Ngannou's contract negotiations with the UFC was that he wanted the inclusion of the boxing fight in his revised terms. The UFC did not agree to the Cameroonian's demands.
John McCarthy and Josh Thompson reacted to the whole sequence of events and contemplated Francis Ngannou's options outside the UFC. McCarthy bluntly claimed that Ngannou would get outboxed by Fury in the latest episode of the WEIGHING IN podcast:
"He's going to lose. I'm just being honest. I love Francis... everyone's sitting there like, 'He hits the hardest.' Look, Deontay Wilder hits like a f**king truck. Fury is not going to have a problem. He's going to outbox Francis. It's not going to be a good night for Francis."
McCarthy added that he understands Ngannou's relentless pursuit of a fight against Fury since that might be the biggest payday of his career.
Catch John McCarthy's comments below (57:15):
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Francis Ngannou has been warned by Tony Bellew about pursuing his boxing ambitions
Tony Bellew, a former cruiserweight world champion, has warned Francis Ngannou against transitioning to boxing. Ngannou was stripped of the UFC heavyweight title after failing to secure a new contract agreement with the organization.
Francis Ngannou discussed the prospect of a boxing bout with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last year. In April 2022, he was ringside to witness Fury's knockout victory over Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in London.
Fury and Ngannou discussed the possibility of a cross-sport boxing contest and shook hands inside the square circle as they discussed the potential bout.
Below a poll created by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani to discuss Ngannou's next move, boxer-turned-analyst Tony Bellew wrote:
"Terrible shame! He will not survive in a boxing ring against anyone of any note.. He’s the best MMA heavyweight in the world right now and he needs to stay within his discipline.."
Check out the tweet below: