Dana White blasts idea of Francis Ngannou crossover fight with Tyson Fury as ‘f***ing waste of time, energy and money’… pushing UFC heavyweight champion closer to exit
- Francis Ngannou was in attendance for Tyson Fury’s fight with Dillian Whyte
- ‘Gypsy King’ says he is retired from boxing but was open to crossover bout
- Ngannou is refusing to sign a new UFC deal unless he can box Fury as option
- Dana White slammed the idea and maintains he ‘does not like crossover fights’
Dana White has eviscerated the idea of a crossover fight between UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and boxing superstar Tyson Fury.
The UFC president has only ever sanctioned one crossover clash, Conor McGregor’s lucrative showdown with Floyd Mayweather in 2017, but seems unlikely to afford Ngannou the same leeway.
Ngannou is adamant that any new contract with the UFC will need to include a clause that allows him to box Fury.
Francis Ngannou is the UFC heavyweight champion but wants to fight Tyson Fury
Fury has retired from boxing following his win over Dillian Whyte but talked up the clash
But White’s most recent comments suggest that the Cameroonian will have to test free agency at the end of this year in order to lock horns with the ‘Gypsy King’.
He told The Pat McAfee Show: ‘Crossover fights are f*****g stupid, that’s why. F*****g waste of time, energy, and money. I mean, listen, I don’t know. It’s silly, but I get it.
‘Boxing is a massive advantage for Tyson Fury. Ngannou just wrestled Ciryl Gane. If you know anything about fighting, it’s a silly conversation, it’s a silly conversation…
‘They’ve been talking about it and everything,” White continued. ‘I mean, guys, Fury is the best boxer, one of the greatest boxers of all time. I mean, you look at the guys he’s beaten and how easily he’s beating them.
‘I don’t know, we’ll see how this whole thing plays out. I don’t love the crossover fights. I don’t love them.’
Ngannou says refusing to sign a new deal with the UFC has cost him millions.
He defended the heavyweight title in January, triggering an automatic contract extension but will have the chance to be a free agent in 2023.
At 35, the powerful striker wants to bank the biggest paydays he possibly can and he believes the Fury fight is the fastest route.
‘We both want this fight, that’s clear, and we respect each other,’ Ngannou told the MMA Hour podcast.
‘Probably next year it will happen. I think it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of our promotions, but we will sort this out at some point.
‘Make it a hybrid fight, something that makes it a little uncomfortable for him as a boxer.
Ngannou (second from right) is currently recovering from injury after his victory at UFC 270
‘Ideas like MMA gloves or fighting barefoot. I don’t know, we still have to figure this out. I would say there’s a 70% chance (my next opponent) is Tyson Fury. On his side I would say 90% against me.’
Ngannou would be the biggest star to leave the UFC and set an unfortunate precedent for the organisation if they’re unable to tie him down.
His knee injury means there’s a power vacuum in the division and there may be an interim belt put on the line at some point.
It will be fascinating to see, even in light of White’s attack, whether the UFC can still come to terms with their heavyweight champion.
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