The baddest man on the planet reigns supreme as he defended his belt at UFC 270 in his first-ever title defence against the interim champion and former sparring partner Ciryl Gane.
Usually, after a fight, the only questions asked are: Who’s next, and when? But after both the buildup and antics post-fight, we have a lot more unanswered questions than answers. Starting with, will Francis re-sign with the UFC? As a champion Francis made $600,000 for his UD victory (Gane made 500,000), this seems to be his biggest issue with the promotion as he views himself as more of a 20-30 million a fight kinda guy. It is almost for certain that the UFC does not see it this way as the only fighter to ever command such paychecks was the Notorious Conor McGregor. While both sides seem to be miles apart it seems like money is the point of contention and not competition or opportunities.
Many have called for the Cameroonian fighter to take his un-godly power over to boxing and face names like Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder. Even Tyson Fury has been vocal as of late tempting Francis with promises of “real money”, and while a fight between the two would surely break the bank, it is highly unlikely that it will happen any time soon due to Fury being potentially linked to fights vs Usyk or Dillian White.
Finally, his relationship with the UFC brass has been hanging by a thread for some time now, as we have constantly heard president Dana White reference his bad attitude or inflated ego, and this past Saturday we even saw Dana not wrap the belt around his champions waist as well as not participating in the post-fight press conference, and while we might be reading too much into this it reminds some of us of the time Anderson Silva fought Damien Maia in Abu-Dhabi and infuriated Dana White who proceeded to make it a point to not put the belt around the Brazilian.
As a fan of Francis, I hope he sticks to MMA. Yes, he has the nuclear option in his hands but after this last fight, it made a lot of people realize that without grappling or kicks Dana might just have been wrapping the belt around Gane instead. A fight vs an elite boxer like Fury or Wilder would be exciting beyond belief, but we don’t need to see yet another MMA great make the mistake that so many before him have made. Finally of all the major MMA promotions out there only the UFC or a major boxing promotion can command such a massive contract that Francis wants it is unlikely that we will see him fight for Bellator or PFL unless he lowers his standards drastically.