Our “Spinning Back Clique” panel discusses Francis Ngannou's loss to Tyson Fury and its impact on boxing and MMA, looks ahead to the reshuffled UFC 295 and more.
Check out this week's “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie's weekly live show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts.
This week's panel of Brian “Goze” Garcia, Mike Bohn and Danny Segura will join host “Gorgeous” George Garcia live at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) to discuss and debate:
- Tyson Fury escaped Francis Ngannou's boxing debut with a split decision win, but he also was knocked down by the former UFC heavyweight champ, was cut, and generally didn't look like the kind of fighter regarded as the best heavyweight boxer in the world. But this was all about how good Ngannou looked, and we'll break down the performance.
- Ngannou left the UFC while still heavyweight champion in a contract dispute and signed with the PFL. He's expected to return to MMA under that banner in 2024 – but his better-than-expected boxing debut against Fury has most people jonesing to see him box next instead of have a cagefight. What do we think his best option is?
- Even though Dana White said Ngannou had an offer to be the highest paid UFC heavyweight of all time, he left the promotion and signed with the PFL – a promotion that gave him the OK to also box, which was a sticking point on the UFC side – for a bunch of money, plus stake in the company as an international executive. His fight with Fury was for a reported $10 million guaranteed, plus pay-per-view backend. And in the meantime, while he was off finding plenty of success and newfound sports stardom outside MMA, his former home's new heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, had to pull out of next week's UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden with an injury. With Ngannou's success, and the near-term mess at heavyweight in the UFC, is the UFC left with egg on its face?
- Ngannou was the “Baddest Man on the Planet” when he was the UFC's heavyweight champion. He left the UFC, and generally speaking that title hasn't been bestowed on MMA fighters outside the UFC. That means current heavyweight champ Jon Jones can lay claim to that moniker. But so, too, can Tyson Fury, the WBC's heavyweight boxing champion … whom Ngannou knocked down Saturday. So does the math work out that Ngannou has that combat sports bad man title now?
- Jon Jones had to pull out of the UFC 295 main event heavyweight title fight against ex-champ Stipe Miocic with an injury that was caught on camera. Instead of putting Miocic in an interim title fight that Dana White said would be insulting to him, Sergei Pavlovich faces Tom Aspinall for an interim belt. The winner then will wait for Jones to return from his injury, which is expected to be at least eight months. Did the UFC make the right moves with all this madness only a couple weeks before one of its annual tentpole events?
- … and much more.