Exclusive: Curtis Blaydes Supports Francis Ngannou Leaving UFC: ‘He Didn’t Make A Mistake’

'Razor' Blaydes extended his support for 'The Predator' following his exit from the UFC

Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes
Credit: Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes (via Instagram)

Curtis Blaydes believes Francis Ngannou made the right move by leaving the UFC.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was involved in a public feud with the promotion and company president Dana White for the better part of the last two years. He completed the final bout on his contract against Ciryl Gane in Jan. 2022 at UFC 270. Following another successful title defense, Ngannou was expected to stay on the sidelines while negotiations played out with the organization regarding a new deal.

Alas, the UFC could not come to an agreement with ‘The Predator’ and chose to release him.

Curtis Blaydes supports Francis Ngannou leaving the UFC

In an exclusive interview with James Lynch for Middle Easy, Curtis Blaydes shared his thoughts on Francis Ngannou deciding to walk away from the most elite mixed martial arts promotion in the world.

“I don’t think he made a mistake,” said Blaydes. “In the end, he’s going to be the one who wins. You also gotta think he’s five years older than me. I know he’s a heavyweight but you only have so many more fights in you. I think MMA fights take a little more out of you like that fight he had with Stipe where he lost. That’s hard on the body.

“All that wrestling, especially for big guys. I think he has another four really strong years and he can make some money.”

Blaydes heaped praises on Ngannou for putting forth the request to get health insurance for all the fighters on the roster even if it was the sticking point for the failed talks.

“That was very courageous. You have to know who you’re dealing with. UFC is not going to be happy about that which obviously they were not. That was risky and might have been a deal breaker but he asked for it anyway. I can only respect that.”

Blaydes wants to see Ngannou box

‘The Predator’ was heavily linked to a crossover boxing match with two-time heavyweight boxing world champion Tyson Fury over the last year. Blaydes believes it would be the right move for Ngannou to step inside the squared circle, even if it was not against Fury.

“If I’m him, I just want to strike, get big paydays and the biggest paydays are in boxing. So, I think him versus, it doesn’t even have to be one of the top guys, but l keep hearing Tyson Fury. He might be a matchup, really anyone against Ngannou. He’s going to make more than he ever made in the UFC. He’ll get at least $5 million I hope. I want to see if the power translates with the boxing gloves on.”

It remains to be seen where Francis Ngannou will go next. Whether it be another promotion or another combat sport, Ngannou will be a highly sought-after athlete.

Published on January 19, 2023 at 8:51 pm
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