UFC president Dana White was not surprised that Tyson Fury recently called out Francis Ngannou.
Ahead of Ngannou’s heavyweight title defense against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 next week, the WBC heavyweight champion called out Ngannou and asked fans what they’d think of them boxing with UFC gloves on.
Ngannou was open to the prospect but offered a counter proposal in the form of an MMA fight using boxing gloves.
“How about MMA rules with boxing gloves? I can do you that favor.”
How about MMA rules with boxing gloves? I can do you that favor. https://t.co/NpCMOQ3DDu
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) January 6, 2022
Of course, boxers and MMA fighters calling each other out is nothing new.
But this was made more interesting when Fury’s co-promoter Top Rank revealed the fight was a no-brainer and that they would be open to co-promoting it along with the UFC.
The main point being that negotiations would be easier given that both properties had their media rights tied to ESPN.
Top Rank is open to doing a co-promotion with UFC for a @Tyson_Fury–@Francis_Ngannou boxing/MMA crossover fight, per @ToddDuBoef, who told SBJ that negotiations could be made easier by both properties having their media rights tied to @ESPN.
🗨: "I think it'd do really well." pic.twitter.com/tqoTNThHHr
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) January 7, 2022
Dana White: Boxers Need To Fight
As far as White was concerned, he wasn’t surprised by the callout.
But not in a good way, as he believes boxers need to stay active and fight people in their own sport rather than calling out UFC fighters.
“These boxing guys need guys to fight,” White said at the UFC Vegas 46 post-fight press conference (via LowKickMMA). “None of this surprises me. That’s what it shows, you know what I mean? Doesn’t surprise me at all.”
For now, Fury is expected to fight Dillian Whyte in the coming months. But could a fight with Ngannou happen in the near future? It seems unlikely, but anything is possible.
Especially if Ngannou were to depart the UFC.