UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes shared some advice with the reigning champion Francis Ngannou.
“The Predator” is yet to sign a new deal with Dana White and according to many, the possibility of this happening is small to none. The reason, of course, is Ngannou wanting a significant raise in his purses and the freedom to switch to boxing.
Ngannou has been vocal on his desire to fight the WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, with “The Gypsy King” welcoming such a clash.
Blaydes, who just knocked out Chris Daukaus, is on the come up and if he gets one or two more Ws, he’ll surely get the call to fight for the gold. Curtis, of course, knows pretty damn well that if Ngannou decides to switch the Octagon for the ring, his chances of becoming the top dog in the heavyweight division are getting significantly higher.
But there’s another factor Blaydes considers when he looks at Ngannou’s situation, and that ties directly into the dreams of most fighters: get your money and get out. And the way “Razor” sees it, one option stands out among all others.
“If I’m him, I’m just going to box,” Blaydes said.
“They make a lot of money, and he would make a lot of money against Joshua or Tyson or Deontay Wilder. He would be rich. So if I’m him, I would let my knee heal up and get ready to box.”
While most boxing experts have written off Ngannou’s chances in the ring against a talent like Fury, Blaydes is optimistic about the UFC champ’s ability to transition.
“Based off the top boxers at heavyweight division I’ve watched, I think he does well,” Blaydes said. “I think he has the reach. We know has the explosion and the athleticism. With those gloves, he may not have the same impact, but I think he can beat any of those guys.”
Blaydes has made pay, or lack thereof, a central issue in his UFC tenure, and he can’t fault Ngannou for seeking the biggest one. Leveraging the notoriety of a decorated octagon run isn’t simply good business, he said – it’s a blueprint worth following.
“It’s always good to know that there’s something on the other side of MMA, because you can’t fight forever, and at the end, you just want to get your money,” he said. “That’s always going to be a good avenue. If you’re doing up your name and brand in the UFC and MMA, you have the opportunity to transition over into the boxing world, and you can make a lot of money at the end of your career.”