A crossover clash between Francis Ngannou and former WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder is no longer just a pipe dream.
After Ngannou’s impressive showing against Tyson Fury in Riyadh, opportunities have been practically beating down the former UFC champ’s door. Initially, the plan was for Ngannou to head back to the world of mixed martial arts to make his PFL debut following the matchup with ‘The Gypsy King,’ but that may no longer be the case given his rather shocking performance in the sweet science.
With reports that Ngannou will be ranked by the WBC, there is a world of options out there, but perhaps the most intriguing of them all is a showdown with heavyweight knockout artist Deontay Wilder.
“I think that’s a good idea,” Ngannou said of a potential fight with Wilder during his appearance on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “In fact, we have spoken about that. In fact, that has been in the discussion. So, that’s something that can potentially happen.”
Francis Ngannou Believes his Fight with Deontay Wilder Could be in MMA
But don’t expect this particular matchup to be any old boxing match. Adding to his comments, Ngannou revealed that Deontay Wilder has been training in mixed martial arts for some time and is very serious about making his MMA debut sooner rather than later.
“Deontay Wilder for a couple of months, for a little while now, has been training MMA because there’s an option here,” Ngannou added. “Nothing is set, but some things have been coming to my ear, to my attention, so that’s something that makes sense.”
Clearly, it’s far too early for any official announcements, but Ngannou plans to decide on what his next move will be by the end of the week. Will it be boxing? MMA? A bit of both? Only time will tell, but some type of scrap with Deontay Wilder certainly appears to be a likely candidate.
“He’s really serious about MMA,” Ngannou continued. “I know a lot of people talk, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this in boxing and do that in MMA,’ but I think Deontay Wilder is very interested in MMA, and even just to step into the Octagon for MMA and MMA only. But, again, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a different beast for him. Unlike this time, that I was the one experiencing climbing the mountain, he’s going to be the one climbing the mountain” (h/t MMA Mania).