Ngannou is 35 and feels like this could be his final chance to truly cash in, which could be amplified by a long-awaiting and discussed boxing match with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Ngannou said that being able to happen is a non-negotiable when it comes to his next deal.
“The Tyson Fury fight has to be part of the discussion,” Ngannou told The MMA Hour. “That’s not an option. It has to be part of the discussion, because if that’s not part of the discussion now, it will never be. If I sign another contract now, and basically the same model of a contract, I’m screwed. It’s not happening ever. So we have to figure out a way to implement this into a contract.”
While Ngannou wants to fight Fury outside of the octagon, he made sure to note that it wouldn’t be his last fight. He’d still want to defend his belt in the UFC.
“I think the UFC is a great promotion and I want to keep fighting,” Ngannou said. “Tyson Fury is not my last fight. I want to keep fighting after Tyson Fury. There’s still a lot of fights out there. There’s Jon Jones, there’s a trilogy with Stipe [Miocic], there’s big fight I can do in the UFC, so I would really like that to happen. I would really like also to get to a common point. Yes, I can do Tyson Fury on my own, but what next? I would like to keep fighting. I would like for us to come to an agreement, but for that they have to have a good understanding of the situation.”
Fury, Ngannou Eager to Set Up Superfight
Ngannou attended Fury’s latest fight on Saturday, which “The Gypsy King” won by knockout against Dillian Whyte. The two appeared in the ring after and spoke openly about their planned exhibition.
“We’re going to find out who’s the baddest motherf–ker on the planet,” Ngannou said with Fury standing next to him. “I have a couple of months, and I’ll be right back on my feet.”
Ngannou Said Issues With UFC Not Personal
It’s clear that Ngannou needs to be paid more with his star in the UFC growing. He took home just $600,000 for his latest bout — a heavyweight title fight against Cyril Gane. In contrast, Fury took home nearly $30 million for his fight against Whyte.
While Ngannou and the UFC appear far apart in business negotiations, he said nothing is personal with the promotion or its outspoken president, Dana White.
“Dana White was present in the first one,” Ngannou said. “It went well because it was just personal and had nothing to do with business, and personally I have nothing against anybody. My problem is on the business side, which is not going good. I want the best for me, as far as business is concerned, so I think we can have the best personal relationship, but we have to also work out the business relationship as well.”
Ngannou is on the mend from knee surgery but it’s clear that his future is still very much in the air.