UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier was very impressed with the recent performance by Francis Ngannou, who pushed WBC champion Tyson Fury to the limit.
Last month in Saudi Arabia, Fury secured a close ten round split decision win over Ngannou, who was making his pro debut in boxing.
Ngannou shocked everyone when he dropped Fury in the third with a hard left hand. The fight continued in a very competitive manner for the rest of the contest.
Two judges scored the fight for Fury, with tallies of 95-94 and 96-93, while the third saw it for Ngannou 95-94.
Ngannou had a very tense contractual breakup with UFC in 2022.
Cormier explained that nobody in the UFC is holding a grudge against Ngannou for breaking away to make a massive payday as a free agent.
“Look, when Tyson Fury and Francis fought, it was massive,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “It was massive for Francis financially and for his profile, which is the best thing that could happen. But the UFC’s just going to move on. I know from being there and being involved in just kind of knowing that nobody’s disappointed.
“If anything, it just really does help elevate the sport and I think that’s what’s important, at least to me. I said I thought Francis lost. That by no means, means I am hating on Francis. I just scored rounds a different way but boy, what a performance he had. He looked like he belonged. I was so happy for him. I was so proud of him and it was just amazing to see.”
While the performance opened up the door for Ngannou in boxing, Cormier believes the big-fight scenarios in MMA are pretty thin.
And because of that, Cormier expects the dollar signs to push him back into a boxing ring.
“There just isn’t the name value to stand alongside him right now outside of boxing,” Cormier said. “[But] when you make the money he made, he can sit around for a while.”