Former UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has been urged to explore further the possibility of a move to professional boxing by past–opponent, Curtis Blaydes, who claimed that Cameroonian could likely land a payday in the region of 10 to 15 million in a single squared circle showcase.

Blaydes, the current #4 ranked heavyweight contender, is scheduled to return to the Octagon this weekend atop a UFC Vegas 71 card against surging Russian heavyweight knockout artist, Sergei Pavlovich.

Himself riding a three-fight winning run, Blaydes most recently headlined UFC Fight Night London back in July of last year in a 15-second TKO win over Tom Aspinall after the Atherton native suffered a catastrophic knee injury.

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Twice sharing the Octagon with former undisputed heavyweight titleholder, Ngannou, Illinois native, Blaydes first dropped a doctor’s stoppage TKO loss and then a standing strikes TKO defeat to the Batié native in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

Francis Ngannou backed to make lucrative move to boxing

Sharing his thoughts on Ngannou’s fighting future following his January departure from the UFC, Blaydes told MMA Fighting ahead of UFC Vegas 71 that the former champion could likely land himself a multi-million dollar payday in just one venture to professional boxing.

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“I don’t think [Francis Ngannou will return to the UFC] but my reasons for that are I believe he’s going to get a boxing fight – he only needs one to make $10,000,000 or $15,000,000,” Blaydes said.. “After you make $15,000,000, it’s hard to go back to $800,000. And he doesn’t want to have to deal with the grappling. He would rather just have to strike.”

“That’s what he wants to do,” Curtis Blaydes said of Francis Ngannou. “I believe he’s going to be able to get a boxing fight, get the money and he’ll be good for life.”

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Furthermore, former undisputed UFC flyweight champion and ONE Championship gold holder, Demetrious Johnson backed Ngannou’s ability to earn himself a cool payday despite not competing under the promotion’s banner – insisting there is money to be earned outside of the Dana White-led umbrella. 

Earlier this week, to boot, Matchroom Boxing leader, Eddie Hearn expressed his interest in working alongside knockout artist, Ngannou in the future, as the Cameroon native finds himself linked to a potential boxing debut against former world champion, Anthony Joshua