Francis Ngannou gets the opportunity of a lifetime when facing off with Tyson Fury in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia this October.
The former UFC heavyweight champion has battled through some serious adversities in not only his MMA career but life in general. Overcoming some of those obstacles to sometimes miraculous degrees, Ngannou's biggest in-competition challenge will undeniably be one of the best boxers on the planet in Fury.
Fury, 35, is undefeated in his 34-match boxing career (33-0-1), stopping 24 of his opponents with strikes. While Fury has never tasted defeat, he’s had a few scares in his legendary career. The most notable came in his first clash against Deontay Wilder, where he suffered a devastating knockdown and magically lifted himself back into the bout to reach the final bell. For the upcoming big cross-sport matchup, Ngannou has enlisted the aid of the iconic Mike Tyson to help him pull off an upset win. Come Oct. 28, Ngannou promises the combat sports world will see Fury on his back once more.
“I think my feet [are] the most [improved],” Ngannou told TMZ Sports of training with Tyson. “All the footwork, that power transition. I think that’s been very amazing.
“What doesn’t matter is what he (Fury) says. What matters is what’s gonna happen in Saudi and in Saudi, he’s gonna hit the canvas. I can tell you that. He’s gonna hit the canvas. I don’t know how you call that, but I know that he’s going to the canvas. He’s good at [getting] up but we’re gonna find out how good he is.”
Ngannou has displayed otherworldly power throughout his 20-fight MMA career. 12 of “The Predator’s” 17 victories have ended violently by knockout, including his title victory over arguably the greatest MMA heavyweight of all-time Stipe Miocic.
Competing in boxing has always been a dream and goal of Ngannou’s and now he gets to do so in a best vs. best scenario. Despite MMA being his primary focus for the past decade as a pro, Ngannou’s been keeping an eye on the in-ring action and believes he’s ready for whatever “The Gypsy King” has to offer.
“I’ve been studying him for the past three years,” Ngannou said. “I’ve been to some of his fights.
“I think he knows where his focus is at. He’s a professional so he has to do what he has to do, but he knows what is the job. Don’t let that trick you. I’m super ready and very excited about this fight.”
Now under contract with the PFL for the foreseeable future as an MMA fighter, Ngannou believes he’ll make his promotional debut by March 2024 at the latest. He last fought in January 2022, defending his title via a unanimous decision over Ciryl Gane before undergoing surgery on one of his knees, which kept him on the mend until earlier this year.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
In honor of Deep Jewels upcoming 10th Anniversary, we looked at every pro MMA fight in the promotion's history and found the most active fighters per year!— Charlie (@CJ_SogoKaku) August 28, 2023
Hats off to @saramipiy_3103 who led 2014, 2015, and 2017! @ryuto14 @_sugi2009 @NowWmma @DrakeRiggs_ @WeareRizinPod #MMA pic.twitter.com/aogwV6VPEC
Next week is the 10th Anniversary of Deep Jewels! Of the 160 women who have fought for them in pro-MMA fights, here are the ones who fought the most. Credit to @chomosawa and @tommyemi666 for fighting 16 times @ryuto14 @_sugi2009 @DrakeRiggs_ @WeareRizinPod @NowWmma @MMARising pic.twitter.com/NvZOd10I7Q— Charlie (@CJ_SogoKaku) August 28, 2023
Beautiful German suplex at Pancrase over the weekend https://t.co/n3EKeAtpYy— Charlie (@CJ_SogoKaku) August 28, 2023
Sure, why not?
Anderson Silva challenges the grappling champion of an Amazon Tribe.— BJJotter (@JiujitsuOtter) August 28, 2023
Side quest completed ✅ pic.twitter.com/NiLOaohp1q
Junior Tafa gives his honest thoughts on Ian Garry pic.twitter.com/tENLCKMDPi— 154 lb Bendaman (@Bendaman2001) August 28, 2023
.One things for certain, I 1000% want a rematch with O’Malley based on all the work and former champions I’ve beaten. But if their team avoids taking a risk with me, like I did for them, then the next person to get a title shot is @MerabDvalishvil Full podcast episode on my… pic.twitter.com/RAt0BxoUsD— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) August 28, 2023
Here’s a crazy stat: The Korean Zombie hasn’t fought in a scheduled three round fight since he knocked out Mark Hominick in seven seconds back in 2011.— Blaine Henry (@BlaineHenryTFL) August 28, 2023
Im watching the lesson pic.twitter.com/OskxPxMD6q— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) August 29, 2023
@KoreanZombieMMA got me wanting to go once more… damn you zombie. Seeing him face that crowd one last time. Epic moments. Can’t get that main event out of my mind.— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) August 28, 2023
I’m not at all a boxing guy even if MMA fighters are involved. So, I didn’t really care for Conor McGregor’s attempt against Floyd Mayweather. However, I think I’m a bit more interested in Fury vs. Ngannou just because they’re heavyweights, and that power increase alone gives Ngannou a significantly larger chance than McGregor’s against Mayweather.
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