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Morning Report: Francis Ngannou doubles down on Tyson Fury challenge: ‘Eventually it will happen’

Francis N’Gannou Media Workout Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Though we are early into 2022, it’s already looking like UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is going to have an eventful year.

Ngannou is currently set to defend his title against interim champion and former training partner Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 next weekend, but despite having a title defense in his immediate future, “The Predator” is also keeping his eyes on what comes after, and for Ngannou, hopefully that will be a cross-over fight against current boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Earlier this month, Fury called out Ngannou for a boxing bout in MMA gloves inciting a brief exchange between the two over social media. The exchange piqued the interest of fans and oddsmakers even came out with a betting line on the speculative contest. And given the amount of interest all parties have shown in the fight, Ngannou believes that eventually he will get his wish to compete in the squared circle.

“Yeah, I do believe that that fight will happen,” Ngannou told DAZN Boxing. “I think Tyson Fury wants that fight to happen too, so eventually it will happen at some point. I can’t say specifically when but for sure it’s gonna happen since we both are willing to make that fight happen.”

Ngannou has long held an interest in boxing, having originally started training in the discipline before pivoting to MMA. UFC President Dana White, however, has notoriously been against allowing fighters under contract to compete in boxing bouts, with the notable exception of “The Money Fight” between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. But with Ngannou currently on the last bout of his UFC contract, the heavyweight champion finds himself in a position to negotiate and earlier this month, Ngannou made it clear that “boxing part has to be” in his next UFC deal. Now with Fury having shown an interest in facing him, the heavyweight champion has doubled down on that notion, saying that he doesn’t have that much time left in his combat sports career and he wants to make the most of it.

“It’s not like freely go have a boxing match but more so I would like something like Conor and Mayweather did,” Ngannou explain about his contractual requirements. “I think it would be more viral with the supporting that, with the UFC behind that. Anything that you do with the UFC behind, I think it’s gonna be huge...

“From where we are, nothing is safe to say.... Yes (no boxing is a deal-breaker). I’m 35 years old, bro. It’s not like I have a lifetime ahead of me. I’m very aware of my age and the stage of my career and if I really want to do this, I think it’s time to do it. But I don’t see why that shouldn’t be possible for them as well.”

But before any of this can really come into play, first Ngannou has to settle up with Ciryl Gane. Though the former training partners have both been reasonably respectful of each other in the build up to their fight, things have also begun to get a touch more pointed as the bout nears. Earlier this week, Gane remarked on the now infamous snub he received from Ngannou at UFC 268, calling it “wrong” and “disrespectful,” claims that Ngannou dismissed before essentially saying they can settle it in the cage.

“My thinking was that I couldn’t just go there and greet him without greeting his coach which is a guy who has been out there, saying sh*t on me,” Ngannou said. “I can’t look it and pretend like everything is going well. And it doesn’t matter. At the end, we are going to fight. We both are going out there trying to take each other’s heads off. It’s not a friendly relationship. We are not a co-worker that meets in the office in the morning and has to say “Hey” to each other, you know?...

“As with every fight, my result is the same: my prediction is a knockout.”

UFC 270 takes place on Jan. 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.


TOP STORIES

Out. UFC Vegas 46 loses 2 matchups; Kevin Croom targeted to face Brian Kelleher.

Return. Demetrious Johnson return, Angela Lee vs. Stamp Fairtex announced for rescheduled ONE Championship: ONE X event.

Seer. Daniel Cormier predicts Jon Jones won’t win UFC heavyweight title.

Heat. Deiveson Figueiredo says Henry Cejudo will be in corner to watch knockout of ‘traitor’ Brandon Moreno.

Combat. Chatri Sityodtong open to fight Dana White: ‘I don’t think he knows anything about martial arts’.


VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

These two still going at it. And in the weirdest way possible.

Brian Kelleher on the change.

Leon Edwards.

What a truly horrible idea.

Reminder: this is a UFC champion.

Movsar Evloev says he was forced out due to COVID.

Kelvin Gastelum.

Returning.

Khabib.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Charles Rosa (14-6) vs. TJ Brown (15-8); UFC Vegas 46, Jan. 15.

Brian Kelleher (23-12) vs. Kevin Croom (21-3); UFC Vegas 46, Jan. 15.

Bibiano Fernandes (24-4) vs. John Lineker (34-9); ONE Championship, Feb. 11.

Nate Landwehr (15-4) vs. Lerone Murphy (11-0-1); UFC Columbus, Mar. 26.

Joanne Wood (15-7) vs. Alexa Grasso (13-3); UFC Columbus, Mar. 26.

Matheus Nicolau (17-2-1) vs. David Dvorak (20-3); UFC Columbus, Mar. 26.

Sara McMann (12-6) vs. Karol Rosa (15-3); UFC Columbus, Mar. 26.

Aliaskhab Khizriev (13-0) vs. Abusupiyan Magomedov (24-4-1); UFC Columbus, Mar. 26.

Stamp Fairtex (8-1) vs. Angela Lee (10-2); ONE Championship, Mar. 26.

Adriano Moraes (19-3) vs. Yuya Wakamatsu (15-4); ONE Championship, Mar. 26.

Mackenzie Dern (11-2) vs. Tecia Torres (13-5); UFC 273, Apr. 9.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan is entering this territory.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

So, is Ngannou right? Will he box Tyson Fury?

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  • 32%
    Yes
    (158 votes)
  • 67%
    No
    (330 votes)
488 votes total Vote Now

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