By: Hans Thémistode
To be successful in mixed martial arts, it takes a wide range of skills. Still, for UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, he made his way to the top of the division using his punching ability and sheer power. Of his 16 wins, 12 of those wins have come a long way.
Due to his propensity to stand up and strike with his opponents, Ngannou became intrigued with the transition to the world of boxing. Even as the UFC star prepares to defend his heavyweight crown against Ciryl Gane on January 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Ngannou admits he’s still very interested in making the switch.
“It always has been,” Ngannou said in an interview with TMZ. “It’s something that I never take my eyes off of. It will happen.
In recent times, more and more UFC fighters are switching to the sport of boxing. Most recently, former UFC welterweight titlist Tyron Woodley made back-to-back appearances against Jake Paul in the square circle, losing both. However, with Ngannou contractually linked to the UFC, unlike Woodley being a free agent, this presents the enormous heavyweight champion with a difficult hurdle to overcome.
That said, Ngannou is currently in the last fight of his lucrative contract. While the 35-year-old isn’t saying he’ll be focusing his entire future on a new sport, he certainly wants to make sure he can participate at some point.
“Even when the UFC and I finally make a deal, the boxing part has to be in it. I can’t see myself retiring without boxing.
To find out who Ngannou would have his boxing debut pitted against, look no further than the top of the division. While shooting for the best of the best is ultimately a daunting task, something that would be exacerbated given his inexperience in boxing, Ngannou doesn’t concern himself with the meticulous details of the sport. Instead, he focuses on what he does best.
“Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, I’d like to test myself at that level. It’s not the same sport but at the end of the day it’s just about throwing hands, throwing punches. delivery system to throw those bombs I’m sure if I hit my own hits well enough I can do some damage.