ONE Championship leader, Chatri Sityodtong has boasted about the ability of his promotion’s heavyweight division, claiming undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou would “get smoked” by his heavyweight counterparts.

Ngannou, the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, successfully unified the championship belts back in January in the main event of UFC 270, handing interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane his first professional loss in the form of a wrestling-heavy unanimous decision winning performance.

Chatri Sityodtong questioned the overall ability of Francis Ngannou when asked if he would sign him

The Cameroon native, infamously, completed his contractual obligations with the promotion following the victory, and is set to be sidelined for a period of nine months after he underwent a surgical procedure last week in order to address a pre-existing ACL injury. 

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Speaking with assembled media following last weekend’s monumental ONE X event in Singapore, promotional leader, Sityodtong claimed that Ngannou was not a “complete fighter” and picked his heavyweight roster to “smoke” the Batie knockout artist.

“I like Francis Ngannou, but I think our (ONE Championship) heavyweights would smoke him,” Charti Sityodtong said. “He’s just not a complete fighter. For sure, if you ask any expert martial artist, you look at Anatoly Malykhin – Russian national pedigree wrestler, dynamite in his hands. (He’s) much faster than Francis Ngannou, much better ground game, black-belt level. He (Malykhin) was a submission champion in Europe.”

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“You look at Arjan Bhullar, wrestling, boxing,” Charti Sityodtong said. “Francis is not very impressive on the ground. He’s got big, looping punches, he’s not as technical of a boxer as Anatoly or even Arjan.” (Transcribed by South China Morning Post)

Undefeated in his last six straight Octagon outings, Ngannou, who holds a 17-3 professional record with 12 knockout wins and a further four submission stoppages, has yet to be beaten since his lacklustre decision loss to Derrick Lewis back in July 2018.

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The feared knockout puncher has since stopped Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Stipe Miocic with strikes – before his unanimous decision triumph opposite the aforenoted Gane at the beginning of this year. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.