Tyson Fury claims he would beat Francis Ngannou in MMA fight

Fury is set to box the ex-UFC heavyweight champion in Saudi Arabia on 28 October

Alex Pattle
Thursday 07 September 2023 23:26 BST
Topless Tyson Fury tries to get Francis Ngannou to take shirt off

Tyson Fury has claimed that he would beat Francis Ngannou in a mixed martial arts fight, ahead of the heavyweights’ boxing match in Saudi Arabia.

Fury, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, will box the ex-UFC heavyweight champion in Riyadh on 28 October, but the Briton has hinted that he already has his eyes on a rematch in a different discipline.

Speaking at the press conference for the pair’s boxing match, which has been billed ‘Battle of the Baddest’, Fury said on Thursday: “I’d like to fight Ngannou in the cage, I think I can beat him for sure.

“He’s not a good wrestler; he’s known for striking, and I’m a better striker than him. In little gloves, I’d knock him out in seconds.

“I’d fight [current UFC heavyweight champion] Jon Jones also in the cage, if the money was right.”

Meanwhile, Ngannou said on stage: “I always ask myself, ‘What will happen when that guy hits the floor? Are you still the best boxer in the world now?’”

The 35-year-old Fury, whose WBC title will not be on the line on 28 October, has come under criticism for choosing to face Ngannou, 37, instead of unified heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk, 36.

Asked about his decision to box the Cameroonian, Fury said: “Obviously I’m getting paid a hell of a lot of money, and I get millions of people from MMA and boxing who are gonna watch it.

“Whether they like that I’m doing it or not, guess what they’re gonna do? Still watch it.”

Ngannou has a habit of knocking out opponents in the first round, often in the first minute

Fury last fought in December, beating Derek Chisora for the third time to retain the WBC belt and stay unbeaten. Fury won the bout via TKO in Round 10.

Meanwhile, Ngannou last fought in January 2022, outpointing Ciryl Gane to retain the UFC heavyweight title. Ngannou, widely deemed the hardest puncher in MMA history, then vacated the title this January while leaving the UFC.

He proceeded to sign with a rival company, the Professional Fighters League, which allowed him to box before he makes his promotional debut in 2024.

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