Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou continues to bet on himself as a boxer following his memorable performance against Tyson Fury last weekend. Although the ‘Predator’ did not emerge victorious against the Brit, what he showcased was impressive enough to make his stock go up in the boxing world.
Francis Ngannou vs. Deontay Wilder in MMA?
Nonethless, that does not mean Ngannou is entirely done with mixed martial arts. Although the 37-year-old is still interested in facing boxers, that does not he would not be willing to take on one of them in a cage.
In a conversation with Ariel Helwani on the journalist’s YouTube channel, Francis Ngannou shared that an MMA match against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder could very well take place in the near future. Though the Predator did not reveal any particular dates for the fight, he says the boxer has been seriously considering a move to mixed martial arts.
“That has been in the discussion,” Ngannou told Ariel Helwani (transcribed by MMA Junkie) on Monday. “That’s something that can potentially happen. Deontay Wilder for a couple of months, or a little while, has been training MMA because there’s an option here. Nothing is set, but some things have been coming to my attention, so that’s something that makes sense.
“He’s really serious about MMA. A lot of people talk – ‘I’m going to do this in boxing and do that in MMA’ – but Deontay Wilder is very interested in MMA, and even just to step in the (cage) for MMA and MMA only. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a different beast for him.”
Ngannou and Wilder have been teasing each other for months
This is not the first time a match between Francis Ngannou and Deontay Wilder has been teased. Back in February of this year, when former UFC champion was still a free agent, the former UFC champion reacted to a tweet which reported Wilder’s free agency.
“Welcome to the free world, Bronze Bomber, I hope you are a man of your word. See you soon”. Ngannou posted.
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder himself has also gone on tape saying how much he admires Francis Ngannou and would welcome taking on the Predator in a superfight. In fact, the boxer even mentioned how he would like to face the former UFC champion twice, once in a boxing fight and once in an MMA fight.
“I love Francis,” he said (H/T MMA Fighting). “When I met him at the [UFC] APEX in Vegas, we was talking about it during that time and I’m still interested in that fight. I would love to go to Africa for that one. I would love to do that one in Africa.
“I even thought about this idea. Let’s make it a two-fight deal. Everybody always comes to boxing. Let’s do this — you come to my shit, I come to yours. You come to my house, I come to yours. A true tea party. I love that idea. I’m a true warrior.”
Ngannou and Wilder both have impressive records
Francis Ngannou (17-3) split decision loss to Tyson Fury was the first defeat he suffered in over five years. Before that, the 37-year-old had not been defeated since an infamous unanimous decision loss to Derrick Lewis, back in July 2018. After that, the Predator was able to put on an impressive six-fight winning streak in the UFC, during which he defeated notable names in the heavyweight division, such as Stipe Miocic, Ciryl Gane, Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder (43-2-1) scored a knockout win in his most recent outing, when he defeated Robert Helenius in October 2022. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 38-year-old, who suffered back-to-back knockout losses to Tyson Fury in February 2020 and October 2021.
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