It is a rare thing for the baddest man in fighting combat sports to be unsure of what’s to come. This is the case for Francis Ngannou after defeating Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 to retain the heavyweight title.
Ngannou showed off a new skill set in the bout with Gane by wrestling to get the win. No one before the fight could have anticipated this is the way the fight would go, but that is what makes Ngannou so special. He will do whatever is necessary to win with freakish power.
After the gritty win Dana White disappeared. Mick Maynard put the belt around the heavyweight champion, which left a lot of question marks considering all of the animosity before the fight between the UFC and Ngannou.
The contract talks came to a halt between the UFC and Ngannou with the circumstances of the fight, but now that it is over things have got worse. Dana White does not like the prospect of Ngannou demanding much higher pay.
The issue becomes the other opportunities that potentially lie ahead for the heavyweight champion. Tyson Fury has been beefing with him over twitter to hype up a super fight between the two that would make Ngannou over 30 million dollars.
Ngannou made $600,000 this past fight, so one could understand where the baddest man on the planet is coming from. It will take a little give from both sides for Ngannou to still be in the UFC.
The question is whether Dana White will be willing to meet in the middle and pay Ngannou what he really deserves. Unfortunately for Ngannou the UFC heavyweight division will go on with or without him.
As a fan I would love to see Ngannou doing what he is best at by setting records with vicious knockouts, but there is a business side to the equation. I predict Ngannou moving on to boxing and pursuing the money. Can we blame him?