Georges St-Pierre wants Francis Ngannou to get what he’s worth, but warns him that boxing may not be the best path forward.
In April, Francis Ngannou won a unanimous victory over Ciryl Gane to defend his title as heavyweight champion at UFC . The fight was Ngannou’s last bout under his UFC contract. “The Predator”, who spoke out about how unhappy he felt with UFC treatment of him, said that the victory was the end of Ngannou’s UFC contract.
As a man who has recently had his own struggles with the business dealings of the UFC, St-Pierre advises Ngannou to go where he is going to get paid his worth.
“I’m telling him as a friend, he needs to get paid to his value,” St-Pierre told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. He said, “And if you don’t like what the UFC offers, get your services somewhere else. At this point, he is a heavyweight. But, with heavyweights, who knows what could happen? A single punch could change the outcome of a fight. It’s very rare that you see a heavyweight staying champion for a long time because of that reason.
“So he needs to get paid. He must go to a place where he is gonna get paid according to his worth. If the UFC refuse to pay him, he now has the ability to negotiate. He can negotiate now, because of his contract. He’s currently in an excellent position .”
At the moment Ngannou is in a waiting position. The UFC heavyweight champion recently underwent knee surgery that will keep him sidelined for approximately 9 months, a timeline which coincides well with his current contract requirements, which reportedly prevent Ngannou from signing with any other organization until December. Ngannou will become an official free agent if the UFC does not sign him before December.
The one offer that’s garnered the most interest, though, is a possible boxing match between Ngannou and current lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Over the last few months, both men made overtures to one another and it would be lucrative for them to fight in a boxing match. St-Pierre warns Ngannou of the risks associated with such a fight.
“I think he deserves it, that kind of money, millions of dollars, but deep down inside, because he’s such an incredible talent in MMA, I’m afraid that if he goes to boxing against Tyson Fury, yes he’s gonna make one shot against Tyson Fury with a lot of money, but he’s a specialist of mixed martial arts,” St-Pierre said. “Tyson Fury has boxed all his life, so the odds will go towards Tyson Fury in a boxing match. They will not fight in MMA as Francis will defeat him in less than 30 second, but I am afraid that he might get the punch if he takes up boxing — that can sometimes end a career.
“If I were him, I would fight in MMA until I get tired of it. And when he is at the end, if he wishes to box, then why not. But it’s up to him. He is free to do what he pleases. You can see that despite all odds, he never gave up. Maybe he will knockout Tyson Fury, but I have no idea what I am talking about. We may never know. I wish him all the best.”
Ngannou will ultimately be influenced by the quality and quantity of offers that he gets. Regardless of what happens, though, Ngannou has already cemented a legacy in the sport and appears set to earn a substantial amount on his next fight contract, and for St-Pierre, it couldn’t happen to a better guy.
” I’m proud of him,” St Pierre said. I’m extremely happy. He works so hard. You can see his bio. He crossed the Atlantic with a boat, and can no longer swim. The guy could have died. He must have seen the importance of fighting differently because he comes from such a background. It’s an amazing story and he has it. He deserves the 100 percent. I am so happy he did it. He even fought his last fight, I heard he fought with a knee injury. That’s crazy. It was a huge risk that he took and it must pay off. He must be paid back. He worked too hard for this. He deserves it more than anybody.”