Francis Ngannou is considered to be the most powerful puncher in the history of combat sports. Most recently, he shook up the world with his impressive boxing debut against Tyson Fury. Ngannou walked away from the UFC earlier this year in his pursuit of making his boxing debut and his wish came to life when he took on ‘The Gypsy King’ last month.
Going into the fight, Francis Ngannou was counted out completely. His lack of experience inside the squared circle led many to underestimate his skills and chances against the WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. However, Ngannou made sure to put on an impressive performance.
Moreover, the former UFC heavyweight champion knocked down Fury in the third round of their fight. At the end of 10 rounds, many believed that Ngannou had successfully managed to upset the odds and beat Fury. However, that wasn’t the case as he ended up losing via a close split decision.
Despite this, Francis Ngannou has raised major question marks surrounding his future in boxing. Many believe that he has the pedigree to become a champion as well. Interestingly, Ngannou is on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment. Many fighters have expressed their desire of wanting to fight ‘The Predator’ inside the squared circle, including the likes of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Derek Chisora. While he has only one professional fight under his belt, his potential in the sport of boxing looks to be intriguing.
With a performance like this against arguably the best heavyweight of this generation, Francis Ngannou can most certainly get his hands on a world title. However, if he were to get a shot at the title, Ngannou would have to rack up some wins under his belts against the likes of some big-name heavyweights.
If Ngannou is able to beat the likes of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, or Andy Ruiz, he will make a good case for a title shot, and who knows, we might end up seeing him do the unthinkable. Moreover, it will be interesting to see the shape of the heavyweight division if and when ‘The Predator’ gets a title shot.
At this moment, the WBC heavyweight championship is held by Tyson Fury, a man Francis Ngannou nearly beat. On the flip side, the WBA, WBO, IBF, and The Ring titles are held by Oleksandr Usyk. It is worth noting that Fury and Usyk are set to lock horns for the undisputed heavyweight championship. That said, it will be interesting to see if Ngannou can get a title shot in the future and if he does, will it be ‘The Gypsy King’ again or Oleksandr Usyk who will be standing in front of him?
When did Francis Ngannou make his MMA debut?
Francis Ngannou is arguably one of the most famous combat sports athletes on the planet right now. However, all of this fame and success wasn’t easy for Ngannou. To understand more about him, it’s important to rewind the years and understand how it all started for the Cameroonian.
Francis Ngannou started training in boxing at the age of 22, however, he had to stop because of an illness. Four years later, left his village and decided to head to France in order to further pursue his dream of becoming a boxer. However, he was advised to take up MMA by his coach Fernard Lopez and what followed next is one for the history books.
The former UFC heavyweight champion started his MMA career back in November 2013 and fought under various regional MMA promotions across Europe. Just two years into his MMA career he compiled a record of 5-1 and was called upon by the UFC.
As one would assume, the call from the UFC was too good to refuse. Francis Ngannou made his UFC debut back in December 2015 against Luis Henrique and won the fight via knockout in the second round. Ngannou went on to win five straight fights and earned himself a title shot against Stipe Miocic.
However, Francis Ngannou ended up losing the fight via unanimous decision. He then faced Derrick Lewis and his fate did not change but Ngannou was determined to be the best in the world and returned with a four fight winning streak to get another shot at the title.
This time around, Ngannou knocked out Stipe Micoc to realize his dream of becoming the UFC heavyweight champion. Later his January 2022, ‘The Predator’ took on rising superstar Ciryl Gane to defend his UFC heavyweight champion. He won the fight via unanimous decision. After his fight with Gane, it was revealed that the UFC is looking to further extend his contact. However, Ngannou had different ideas for his career.
Francis Ngannou wanted to pursue boxing, a sport that initially was the reason for him to leave his country and move to Paris, France. However, after failing to come to terms with the UFC, Ngannou walked away from the promotion. It is worth noting that as of now, Ngannou is signed with the PFL. That said, ‘The Predator’ currently holds an MMA record of 17-3 and a boxing record of 0-1. It remains to be seen what lies ahead for him and if he could ever become a boxing world champion.
Ngannou is an exceptional dedicated athlete. For a MMA fighter to transition to boxing and be in fight-talks with the biggest names in boxing after one fight is quite remarkable. He is definitely one to watch in the future!