Cameroon-born professional mixed martial artist Francis Ngannou will make his boxing debut against undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a fight that may net the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion a cool $10 million.
According to Bloomberg, although the highly anticipated 10-round fight is not a title bout, it is a high-stakes matchup for Ngannou, who just made the switch from the UFC to the Professional Fighters League and stands to make 16 times as much money as in his most recent MMA fight.
The so-called “Battle of the Baddest” will take centre stage on Saturday, October 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Ngannou, a 37-year-old MMA fighter, was a heavyweight UFC champion. Still, when his contract expired earlier this year, he signed with the upstart Professional Fighters League, which allowed him to compete in boxing, where he can pocket more money than in UFC.
The former UFC heavyweight title holder who bookmakers see as a big underdog against Fury is relishing the biggest fight of his career after quitting UFC, noting that he never considered signing the lucrative contract with the PFL, founded by venture capitalist Donn Davis.
“I didn’t know a contract could be this great,” Ngannou said. “It’s been a while since I have had a promotion that fully supports your goals and dreams.”
The deal also gave Ngannou a minority stake in the league. That adds to a growing portfolio that includes ownership of a professional football team in his native Cameroon. He’s also interested in purchasing a Major League Soccer team piece.
UFC fighters have applauded the deal, with UFC Hall-of-Famer Daniel Cormier saying it “set a new standard”.
According to Davis, Ngannou’s contract with the PFL could be replicated again.
“If people can deliver what Francis can, then we will give them a Francis contract,” Davis said.
The fight is the biggest since Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather faced each other in 2017. McGregor earned $85 million despite losing the fight, according to Forbes.
Source: Businessday ng