Francis Ngannou To Pocket Over 5X His MMA Career Earnings Fighting Anthony Joshua
(Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
— 10 January 2024

Francis Ngannou To Pocket Over 5X His MMA Career Earnings Fighting Anthony Joshua

— 10 January 2024

This time last year, Francis Ngannou did the unthinkable.

Something potentially even greater than knocking down the current WBC heavyweight champion inside the boxing ring — he bet against UFC head honcho Dana White.

After the former heavyweight MMA champion’s exit from the organisation, White proceeded to publicly demean and belittle a name he’d spent the last few years building.

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But given the financial figures behind his boxing bouts against premier names like Anthony Joshua and the aforementioned Fury: it’s clear Francis Ngannou has “won” the divorce.

“PFL is going to pay this guy to train for a boxing match that may not even happen and that they might not even be involved in,” Dana White said of Ngannou vs Fury.

“How does that make any sense? It doesn’t make sense to me. Anthony Joshua called it a gimmick fight this week.”

“When asked about that fight, he’s like, ‘I’m focused on fighting the best guys in the world. I’m not interested in a gimmick fight right now.'”

“And that’s one of the big problems with boxing right now, is it’s all about these gimmicky type fights, and that’s just not what I do here. It’s not what I do.”

Tyson Fury vs Francis Ngannou Prize Money: Big Swings, Big $$$

After Francis Ngannou surprisingly held his own against Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia, Anthony Joshua has obviously shifted his stance on these “gimmicky type fights.”

So much so that the two-time former unified world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist has agreed to his own boxing match against Francis Ngannou, which will also take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this year.

According to Sports Business Journal, Ngannou’s agent has confirmed that The Predator is set to make another eight-figure payday for his fight with Joshua; he reportedly earned US$10 million (AU$15 million) for throwing hands with Fury back in October.

Making at least $15 million in each of your first two fights at 37 years old certainly isn’t a bad effort, especially after being chastised for turning a three-fight, US$8 million (AU$12 million) offer down from the UFC.

There’s reason to believe that after pay-per-view sales and sponsorships have been factored in, his fighting purse could resemble something closer to the US$20 million (AU$30 million) mark. For context, his largest ever payout in the UFC was around US$580,000 (AU$865,000) when he claimed the heavyweight strap from Stipe Miocic.

All up, Ngannou’s career earnings from MMA amount to around US$3.8 million (AU$5.6 million).

Anthony Joshua is said to be making even more for agreeing to lace up the gloves against Francis Ngannou; Tyson Fury is rumoured to have made something in the neighbourhood of US$50 million (AU$75 million) for eeking a split decision victory.

Based on Ngannou’s performance against The Gypsy King, as well as the fact Joshua is coming off his own impressive knockout over Otto Wallin, an even greater audience could be tuning in for this upcoming bout.

The Wallin fight was supposed to position Joshua for a fight with Deontay Wilder in March. But after Wilder’s unanimous decision loss to Joseph Parker — a man Joshua himself beat via unanimous decision back in 2018 — which occurred on the same card, the fight was reportedly scrapped.

During an interview with IFL TV, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn — longtime promoter of Anthony Joshua — teased Francis Ngannou as a “colossal” potential next opponent instead of Wilder. The matchup was confirmed shortly thereafter. Because sometimes, things just break your way.

This match will also be taking place less than a month after Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight to unify all the belts. Essentially, Francis Ngannou has quickly put himself in the middle of the biggest names in the sport.

In the past, Dana White always loved marketing Ngannou and his legendary punching power. He was visibly excited at the UFC 220 press conference rattling off facts about his 96 horsepower world record-holding punch.

In front of the then-champion Stipe Miocic, White boasted about his new guy’s punch being “more powerful than a 12-pound sledgehammer swung at full force from overhead” and feeling it being “equal to getting hit with a Ford Escort going as fast as it can.”

As alluded to earlier, this quickly changed after Ngannou’s departure, when White claimed that “Francis wants to take zero risks, doesn’t want to take any chances, and he obviously didn’t want to take a chance with Jon Jones — and after we saw what happened with Ciryl Gane, I don’t blame him.”

“I think the outcome would’ve been exactly the same, and I’m sure most of you do and I’m sure Francis does too.”

RELATED: How Much Prize Money Did Tyson Fury & Francis Ngannou Earn?

After tens of millions of dollars and knocking the lineal champion on his ass in front of the world, we’re starting to see who really held the bargaining power in this partnership. In another timeline, Dana White could’ve had the UFC heavyweight champion holding his own in the boxing ring against Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

And that’s gotta hurt more than getting hit by a Ford Escort at full speed.

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