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Francis Ngannou accused of ‘mishandling’ UFC contract negotiations

A former champ says Francis Ngannou mishandled his dealings with the UFC.

UFC 281: Hooker v Puelles
Francis Ngannou is the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has suggested that Francis Ngannou may have mishandled his negotiations with the UFC in pursuit of a potential superfight with heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury.

Bisping, who is known for his outspoken analysis of the sport, stated on his YouTube channel that he believes Ngannou should have stayed in the UFC, where he would have had more eyeballs on him compared to boxing.

“The one that Francis Ngannou really wants — and I think this is why he’s willing to walk away from the UFC, which again, I think he’s mishandled that, I really do,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA News). “I think more eyes will be on him in the mixed martial arts world — it’s that fight with Tyson Fury. Remember, after one of Fury’s fights… Francis Ngannou was there.”

Bisping went on to explain that while a boxing match with Fury would generate a “gigantic payday” for Ngannou, he believes it would be a “one-and-done” situation, with a loss potentially hurting his chances of re-signing with the UFC in the future.

“A one-off fight with ‘The Gypsy King’ Tyson Fury, one of the best heavyweight boxers we’ve ever seen, would generate a gigantic payday,” Bisping continued. “There’s no doubt about that. Tyson Fury is a massive star. But it’s literally, realistically, going to be a one-and-done. I think — and this is no disrespect to Francis — in mixed martial arts he’s incredibly effective, in boxing he will be incredibly effective, but he’s also gonna be kind of out-skilled… Tyson Fury would, more than likely, nine times out of 10 win that fight… Then what does Francis Ngannou do?”

Despite no longer being under contract with the UFC, Ngannou is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and one of the hottest commodities in combat sports, with plenty of options available to him both in MMA and possibly boxing.