Francis Ngannou got his big fight.
The former UFC heavyweight champion will meet undefeated boxing champion Tyson Fury in a boxing match on Oct. 28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is not clear yet if it will be an exhibition or a pro fight.
ESPN was the first to break the news of the date and site of the fight.
Ngannou confirmed the fight on Twitter.
Fury had this to say in a press release about the event.
“This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by big GK. I’m looking forward to showing that the Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation. It’s gonna be a fight for the ages,” Fury said.
Ngannou has long coveted a crossover fight against one of boxing’s biggest heavyweight stars, and Fury has always been his preferred choice of opponent. “The Predator” and Fury have bantered back and forth over a potential superfight for years, with Ngannou even making a surprise appearance in the ring alongside Fury in April 2022 following Fury’s win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium. This past January, Fury called out Ngannou for a special rules bout in a cage against Ngannou with four-ounce gloves under boxing rules.
Ngannou’s desire to box was one of the tipping points that led to his historic departure from the UFC while holding the promotion’s heavyweight title, as UFC officials were not supportive of allowing him to chase a payday in boxing while under contract. Following Ngannou’s free agent signing with PFL, UFC president Dana White campaigned vehemently for a matchup between new UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Fury, however the opportunity to face “The Gypsy King” ultimately found its way to Ngannou.
Ngannou (17-3 MMA) is generally regarded as one of the hardest punchers in MMA history. He captured the UFC heavyweight title in March 2021 with a brutal knockout of Stipe Miocic then defended his title once, taking a decision over Ciryl Gane despite fighting on a torn ACL. Eleven of Ngannou’s 12 UFC victories ended in stoppages, including highlight-reel knockouts of Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Curtis Blaydes (x2), and Junior dos Santos.
Fury (33-0-1) is the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in boxing and the WBC heavyweight champion. He holds notable wins over Deontay Wilder (x2), Wladimir Klitschko, Whyte, Derek Chisora (x3), and more.
Quennsberry Chairman Frank Warren told talkSport that the bout will not be an exhibition bout but revealed that Fury’s WBC title will not be on the line and said he is unsure whether it will count towards the official record of either fighter.