Francis Ngannou wants boxing clause in next UFC deal as champion eyes Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder fights

Francis Ngannou wants boxing clause in next UFC deal as champion eyes Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder fights

January 3, 2022

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has said his next contract with the mixed martial arts promotion must include a clause that allows him to cross over into boxing.

Ngannou, who knocked out Stipe Miocic last March to win the heavyweight title, has been locked in a contract dispute with the UFC in recent months, though the organisation’s president Dana White said this week that he recently had a “good talk” with the French-Cameroonian.

Ngannou is set to defend his title against interim champion and former teammate Ciryl Gane this month, but the 35-year-old is already looking ahead to a potential boxing venture – something he has mentioned before.

“It’s always been down the line; this is something that I’m not taking my eyes off,” Ngannou told TMZ.

“This is gonna happen either way. Even if I stay… Even if, or when, the UFC and I finalise a [new] deal, the boxing part has to be in it.

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“I can’t see myself retiring without boxing.”

Ngannou (16-3 in MMA) has a background in boxing and is widely considered the most ferocious power-puncher in UFC history.

He has secured 12 of his professional MMA wins via knockout. Eight of those 12 KO victories have come in the first round, with three of them earned within the first minute.

Francis Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic in 2021 to become UFC heavyweight champion

“Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder – I would like to test myself to their level,” Ngannou said, when asked whom he would like to box.

“It’s not the same sport, but I’m the champion, so I’m in the top in this division. At the end of the day, it’s just about throwing hands, throwing punches, having a good delivery system to throw those bombs.

“I’m sure that if I deliver my own punches pretty good, I can [do] some damage.”

Ngannou, who is on a five-fight win streak, has not competed since winning the heavyweight title against Miocic – who outpointed Ngannou in the pair’s first meeting, in 2018.

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Meanwhile, former teammate Gane is 10-0, having fought and won three times in 2021.

The most recent of those victories saw the Frenchman stop Derrick Lewis in the third round to win the interim heavyweight title.

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