Francis Ngannou made a surprise in-ring appearance after boxing megastar Tyson Fury’s fight earlier tonight. Reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Ngannou entered the ring after Fury’s WBC heavyweight championship victory over Dillian Whyte.
Both Fury and Ngannou suggested that their much-discussed hybrid-rules fight could soon come to fruition. As noted by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani in a tweet, Ngannou stated:
“We are going to find out who the baddest motherf***** on the planet is.”
The undefeated Tyson Fury is regarded as one of the greatest combat sports competitors today. Fury’s professional boxing record currently stands at 32 wins, no losses, and one draw.
‘The Gypsy King' successfully defended his WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles against Dillian Whyte tonight. Fury impressively stopped the always-dangerous Whyte via sixth-round technical knockout in their highly anticipated clash at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Ngannou’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win against Ciryl Gane in their UFC heavyweight title unification matchup at UFC 270 in January. He subsequently underwent knee surgery and is expected to be out of action for several months.
'The Predator' boasts a professional MMA record of 17 wins and three losses. Ngannou has hinted that he could return in late 2022 or early 2023.
Francis Ngannou won’t re-sign with the UFC without an increase in pay
Speaking to ESPN MMA ahead of his fight against Ciryl Gane, Francis Ngannou asserted that he won’t re-sign with the UFC if he isn’t given a more lucrative contract. ‘The Predator’ explained that he’d be willing to re-sign with the UFC if he’s given a pay bump and allowed to compete in boxing:
“No. I will not fight for five, six hundred thousand anymore. I mean, it’s over. It’s over. I just did this. I took this [UFC 270] fight just for a personal reason and because I want to make sure that [he sees out his current deal] regardless, even if it’s unfair. I’ve been wrongly treated.”
Watch the interview with ESPN MMA below:
The matchup with Gane was the final fight on Francis Ngannou’s current UFC contract, which runs out this December. The consensus is that Ngannou could potentially fight outside the UFC after his contract runs out, leading to a Ngannou-Fury matchup in 2023.
In their latest in-ring conversation, Ngannou and Fury indicated that they could face off in a mixed-rules fight, which could probably be a boxing match contested with MMA gloves. Whether or not the fight materializes remains to be seen.