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Francis Ngannou ‘impressed’ by Jake Paul’s knockout of Tyron Woodley

Francis Ngannou
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jake Paul has a fan in UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

“The Problem Child” went viral once again this past weekend with a blistering sixth-round knockout of Tyron Woodley, putting a definitive end to their two-fight series and further advancing his burgeoning boxing career. Afterwards, Paul called for future matchups with UFC stars Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, and Conor McGregor.

Ngannou spoke to TMZ about the Paul’s KO win and he admitted that the YouTuber has surprised him.

“Honestly, I was impressed by Jake Paul,” Ngannou said. “I didn’t see that coming. I was sure that Tyron Woodley was gonna win this fight. But you’ve got to give it to Jake Paul, he made a statement, a huge statement, and he proved that his money is where his mouth is. He’s there, he’s taking himself very seriously.”

“You bet I take it seriously because he proved it,” Ngannou added.

Asked if he might consider stepping into the boxing ring with Paul, Ngannou shot down the suggestion, primarily for the fact that they don’t compete in the same weight class (Ngannou tipped the scales at 263 pounds for his most recent fight against Stipe Miocic, while Paul was 191.4 pounds for his rematch with Woodley).

Ngannou has said in the past that he hopes to someday challenge heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in boxing, indicating he’s setting his sights in a different direction than the combat sports crossover trend led by Paul.

“No, this is not the same thing,” Ngannou said. “It’s not the same generation. Even if I go out there for boxing, it’s not to box Jake Paul. As good as he might be, he’s not on my level. He’s not in my weight class first of all. I might have maybe 80-100 pounds over him. It’s not the same thing. He doesn’t want this smoke.”

What’s actually on deck for Ngannou is the first defense of his UFC heavyweight title. He meets interim champion Ciryl Gane in a title unification bout in the main event of UFC 270 on Jan. 22.