‘You’re the underdog’: Dana White believes Francis Ngannou should focus on Ciryl Gane, not boxing

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UFC president Dana White believes the heavyweight champion could be getting ahead of himself before the first pay-per-view event of the year.

Saturday evening at UFC 270, Francis Ngannou will attempt to unify the heavyweight title when he takes on interim champion Ciryl Gane in the main event in Anaheim, Calif. In the lead up, Ngannou has publicly discussed his desire to change his contract situation with the UFC, which is currently set to expire at the conclusion of the fight with Gane.

Ngannou has expressed he would like his next contract to include the ability to compete in boxing, mentioning a potential mega crossover fight with champion Tyson Fury.

“You’re talking about you don’t want to fight under your contract, you’re talking about – he gets a piece of pay-per-view, whatever we sell, like all the other champions do,” White said in a recent interview on “The Jim Rome Show.

“You’re worried about all these other things, ‘I want to box Tyson Fury, I want to do this, I want to do that.’ You’re the underdog on Saturday night. You’re not some huge 10 to one favorite, and you want to move on. Focus on (this): beat Ciryl Gane. Win this fight, then you can start talking about the possibility of other things.”

Gane enters Saturday evening as a -155 betting favorite, according to the lines at Tipico Sportsbook.

The contract situation is not the only outside distraction Ngannou is dealing with leading into Saturday evening, as questions surrounding his past training sessions with Gane and falling out with former coach Fernand Lopez continue to be asked. Despite this, Ngannou has said he has done his best to not think about any of the outside distractions in order to focus on accomplishing the task of beating the undefeated Gane.

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While there may be things that Ngannou would like to do next, White believes if he is not solely focused on Saturday night, Gane could derail any potential plans.

“Let’s be honest, Francis is in a place where he’s made a lot of money,” White said. “He’s building a big house back in his home country in Africa. He’s building gyms for kids over there, he’s doing all these things. Ciryl Gane wants what this guy’s got. You got that guy that’s coming up and is hungry.

“Nobody has enough money. Nobody’s ever gonna say, ‘Oh, they’re paying me way too much. I got too much money.’ But this guy has made some real money and he’s out there spending it and doing his thing. Ciryl Gane wants that real money now.”

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