Curtis Blaydes: ‘If I’m Francis Ngannou, I’m just going to box and make a lot of money’

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has options, and if Curtis Blaydes were him, he’d go for the payouts boxing has to offer.

Ngannou successfully defended his title at UFC 270 in January, defeating interim titleholder Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision. The bout was the final fight on Ngannou’s contract. At the end of the year, Ngannou becomes a free agent.

Ngannou would like to ink a new deal with the UFC, but he also wants the freedom to box. The fight promotion isn’t willing to allow their heavyweight champion to crossover and potentially, if not likely, lose.

Blaydes, who has a loss to Ngannou, thinks “The Predator” should chase the money.

“If I’m him, I’m just going to box,” Blaydes said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “They make a lot of money. He would make a lot of money against [Anthony] Joshua, or Tyson [Fury], or Deontay [Wilder]. He would be rich, so if I’m him, I’d let my knee heal up and get ready to box.”

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While prize fighting is always about the money, Blaydes believes Ngannou has a good chance of having success in the pugilist profession.

“Honestly, based on the top boxers in the heavyweight division I’ve watched, I think he does well. I think he has the reach. We know he has the explosion and the athleticism,” Blaydes said.

“With those gloves, those bigger gloves, he may not have the same impact, but I think he wins. I think he can beat any of those guys.”

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