Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov weighed in on heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou‘s contract situation with the UFC.
Ngannou successfully defended his title on Jan. 22, defeating interim titleholder Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision in the UFC 270 main event. Ngannou believes that the fight fulfilled his contract with the fight promotion. “The Predator” wants to collect a big payday by jumping over to boxing, and that’s one of the obstacles in negotiations with the UFC to reach a deal.
While Ngannou could likely land a boxing match against Tyson Fury, not many think that he’d be successful in the ring against the heavyweight boxing champion. If Ngannou wants a financial windfall that will give him financial security to the rest of his life, Nurmagomedov believes that Ngannou should pursue it. If Ngannou wants to solidify a legacy in mixed martial arts, Nurmagomedev thinks that can only happen by inking a new deal with the UFC.
“I think he has to stay with the UFC. But if he goes to boxing and he’s making 50 or 60 million dollars – he has to. Why not,” Nurmagomedov told SkySports. “I know Ngannou comes from a very, very poor life in Africa. He was with no money, no home, nothing. So if someone pays you more money then go and take.
“If you want to make history, become the greatest heavyweight of all time then you have to stay in UFC.”
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Nurmagomedov doesn’t know the details of Ngannou’s contract situation with the UFC, but believe strongly that fighters should honor their deals after reading the contracts carefully before signing.
“I know one thing. If you sign a deal and you have a contract, you have to follow through. This is just my opinion. I am not against Francis, not against [UFC president Dana White] or UFC. I don’t know what they have between them but I just want to give advice for fighters, for young fighters: when you guys sign a contract, you guys have to read your contracts.
“If you sign a deal, like a five-fight deal or a 10-fight deal or a six-fight deal, you have to complete your contract. I’m a religious guy so if you have a deal, you have to follow through with it,” Nurmagomedov said.
“I hear now that the Ngannou deal is finished, his contract is finished – or something like this, I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter who. Francis, Khabib, Kamaru Usman, it doesn’t matter. If you guys have a deal you have to follow through on it. If not, okay but before you sign read and watch. This is how I live. Even myself, if I have a deal, I have to follow this.”
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