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Dana White ‘probably felt betrayed’ seeing Francis Ngannou in ring with Tyson Fury, says Sonnen

Fury and Ngannou pitched a potential fight this past weekend, but not everyone may be on board with it. 

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Chael Sonnen believes UFC president Dana White was none too pleased seeing Francis Ngannou join Tyson Fury in the boxing ring this past Saturday night.

Fury retained his WBC heavyweight championship with a sixth-round technical knockout of Dillian Whyte and confirmed his retirement from the sport altogether. But if there were someone or something to coax ‘The Gypsy King’ into returning, it would be Francis Ngannou and a special hybrid rules fight. The UFC heavyweight champion was ringside when he was invited into the ring by Fury, who then proceeded to pitch a ‘never before seen’ spectacle against Ngannou in the future.

A fight between Fury and Ngannou has been teased for quite some time, but a few hurdles need to be cleared for it to even be considered. One of those is getting the UFC on board, something Ngannou and his team have been trying to do during their contract negotiations with the promotion. The ‘Predator’ has previously stated that he would not sign a new contract if a fight against Fury is not included. Though determined to get a deal done with the UFC, Sonnen has a concern that he may have upset the aforementioned White with his in-ring appearance.

“I would imagine that Dana probably felt betrayed,” said Sonnen on his YouTube channel. “He probably had his feelings hurt. He would never tell you, he’d probably tell you he was pissed off or he’ll tell you he didn’t care at all. But he probably was betrayed a little bit. He really was. Francis Ngannou was there [watching Tyson Fury]. Francis knew he was going, Francis is under contract with Dana. Did Francis’ team let Dana know he was gonna be there? That he was gonna get in the ring for somebody else? That this was gonna be broadcast around the world? Because when Francis got in there, the announcers were already queued. Those announcers knew and they knew to sell it.”

Sonnen also explained why Ngannou would need the help of White to promote a fight with Fury. White played an integral part in getting a boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. done, so if Ngannou wants similar treatment, he’ll need to resolve his issues with the UFC brass soon.

“Let’s say we work all those things through,” said Sonnen. “Who are you gonna go to to promote the fight? I think that person is out there. I think Chael is genuinely ignorant on the topic, but who? It’s a fair question by me. People that know the business aren’t gonna do it. You’re not gonna get Eddie Hearn to do it, just so you understand. Bob Arum’s not gonna take that risk. Don King is all but out of the business and doesn’t have distribution anyway. Oscar De La Hoya is all but out of the business and doesn’t have distribution anyway. So you don’t have a ton of options.

“You could look over to Showtime and you could get somebody to do it,” continued Sonnen. “You could find a benefactor. But Francis only has a relationship with one person and that’s Dana White, who hasn’t been asked to participate in this. So Francis is gonna have to rely on Tyson to do it and they’re gonna do an exhibition in something.”

Ngannou recently underwent knee surgery for a torn ACL and could return sometime next year. Whether it’s against Fury or another top-ranked UFC heavyweight contender remains to be seen.