As the boxing and MMA worlds brace for some big heavyweight picks up this weekend, combat sports reporter Gareth A Davies of The telegraph may see two of the sports stars collide in the near future.
The UFC heavyweight title is on the line in Las Vegas as Stipe Miocic defends against heavy hitter Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 – hours after Dillian Whyte looks to avenge his loss to Alexander Povetkin in a game boxing important.
With Whyte’s experience in kickboxing and MMA earlier in his fighting career coupled with Ngannou’s boxing experience, a match between the two had been hinted at in the past. But Davies says the obvious contest in the near future would be to put the legendary UFC puncher – if he becomes champion – with whoever reigns supreme in boxing after the double header between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
“I think if Francis Ngannou fights anyone, it will be Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. Ngannou’s Cameroonian Anthony Joshua has a Nigerian heritage. Can you imagine that? The rumble in Lagos between those two? I’d fly for that, no problem. Maybe they could do a boxing match and an MMA match? “Davies suggested, speaking to Sky Sports.
“But Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou too. Tyson Fury talked about it. He even fought with world kickboxing champions. And I already talked to him and he told me he would definitely do an MMA fight. . I could see it happening, ”Davies added.
While Whyte looks like a more believable caged contender on paper, Davies believes that Ngannou’s focus on hitting means that one of the current boxing world champions, Fury or Joshua, might be tempted to pair a match in the ring with an MMA fight.
He doesn’t prevent Whyte from taking part in the hypothetical clash of the two sports, but believes he will need a belt to sell him. And the storyline, of course, also depends on Ngannou’s ability to snatch the UFC bracelet from 38-year-old Miocic.
“The reason Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather was so successful is because they were the most marketable characters in each of the sports, around the same weight division,” Davies explained.
“I think if Dillian Whyte beats Povetkin and then beats Anthony Joshua, then I could see him. But for now, for me, it will be Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury against Francis Ngannou.”
Ngannou becoming a UFC champion is far from certain. He lost completely to Miocic when the pair first met in 2018 – a large unanimous decision loss – and in terms of successful title defenses, Miocic is the GOAT of the franchise.
But Davies believes Ngannou’s development, coupled with Ohio’s age, gives the challenger the victory.
“I just have an instinct with Francis, from what we’ve seen over the last 18 months that he’s been successful. He’s not too impatient. He’s going to take his time and a big, crunchy uppercut or a crossing right, “he predicted.
“I can just see it. I can see the knockout this time. I’m not saying I’m a mystical pimp or see in the future G-man, but I can see the knockout. I just think he’s going to go. do it … finish the job.
“End of the second round, KO at the start of the third round. I prefer Francis Ngannou, KO in the second round and I think Dillian Whyte will do it late on the rock.”