Georges St-Pierre believes Francis Ngannou is in a good position but is unsure about his desire to box.
Ngannou is the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion but his future with the promotion is up in the air. Ngannou fought out of his contract back in January when he defeated Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270.
He has expressed gripes with the UFC over fighter pay and being labeled as an independent contractor despite being restricted in what he can do outside the promotion.
GSP Backs & Cautions Francis Ngannou
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on MMAFighting.com‘s The MMA Hour, Georges St-Pierre said that he feels Ngannou has put himself in prime position to do what he wants.
“I’m telling him as a friend, he needs to get paid to his value. And if he’s not satisfied with what the UFC gives him, go get your service somewhere else where they’re gonna pay you well, because he’s not young. He’s coming to a point that, he’s a heavyweight, but heavyweight, you never know what can happen. One punch can change the fight. It’s very rare that you see a heavyweight staying champion for a long time because of that reason.
“So he needs to get paid. He needs to go somewhere where he’s gonna be paid to what he’s worth, and if the UFC are not ready to do this, now he has the power on his side. He can negotiate now, because of his contract. I believe he’s in a very good position right now.”
With that said, GSP thinks Ngannou should tread carefully if he’s going to challenge Tyson Fury in a boxing match.
“I think he deserves it, that kind of money, millions of dollars, but deep down inside, because he’s such an incredible talent in MMA, I’m afraid that if he goes to boxing against Tyson Fury, yes he’s gonna make one shot against Tyson Fury with a lot of money, but he’s a specialist of mixed martial arts,” St-Pierre said. “Tyson Fury has boxed all his life, so the odds will go towards Tyson Fury in a boxing match. Of course they will never fight in MMA because Francis will crush him in under 30 seconds, but I’m just afraid that if he steps into boxing, maybe he’s gonna get the punch — sometimes that stuff can break a career.”
Ngannou still has the champion’s clause holding him back. He’s said that he wouldn’t mind sitting out the clause if he doesn’t receive a satisfactory offer.