Remember kids: “eight figures, not $8 million.”
Indeed, Francis Ngannou has once again proved the doubters wrong, securing his combat sports freedom in more ways than one. First, signing with Professional Fighters League (PFL) as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and brand ambassador, and second, landing the professional boxing debut of his dreams.
Ngannou, 36, will face Heavyweight boxing champion, Tyson Fury, on Oct. 28, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he’ll earn the biggest payday of his life.
“What I will tell you is that, compared to what I was making for my UFC fights, it’s day and night,” Ngannou said on The MMA Hour. “It’s life-changing. And it would be the same thing if I was fighting in the PFL first. What I was making, what I did make in my last [UFC] fight, doesn’t even count. It’s not close, anywhere close.”
“Definitely yes,” Ngannou added when asked if the purse was more than his entire UFC career combined. “100 percent, yes. I didn’t make that much in my entire UFC career, basically after turning down all those contracts that could have made me more money. But yes, if we count it, absolutely.”
Ngannou gambled on himself and won in early 2023, departing UFC as the Heavyweight champion. Shortly after the news broke in January, reports surfaced stating that “The Predator” was offered $8 million to stay with UFC.
“I have heard so many times people say, ‘Oh, they offered him $8 million a fight, they offered him this and that,’ which is not exactly what [they offered],” Ngannou said. “There was a trick there and it was bad. It was just in order for me to put the pen on the paper. There was just one big number and then behind it, the paper was blank, pretty much. So it’s not like, I’m sure you’re going to say $3 million times three, for three fights. That’s not what it was. It wasn’t like that. It was the same tactic. To pull some number up and want to impress you to get you to sign that contract.”
Should Ngannou pull off a massive upset and defeat Fury to close out 2023 before starting his PFL MMA run, he shared that a rematch clause is in place. He’s unaware if that will apply to Fury winning, but regardless, a rematch would only be even bigger for both athletes and viewers if things play out that way.
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