Many MMA fighters have flirted with a high profile professional boxing debut – the latest and most intriguing of which is Francis Ngannou.
The hard hitting former UFC heavyweight champion has recently turned down a renewal offer from the mixed marital arts organisation, thus freeing him up for a big money bout against the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
One man, though, who thinks Ngannou should stick to the octagon and avoid the ring is Tony Bellew.
The former cruiserweight champion turned pundit said it was a ‘terrible shame’ that the MMA star might consider another combat sport.
“Terrible shame! He will not survive in a boxing ring against anyone of any note. He’s the best MMA heavyweight in the world right now and he needs to stay within his discipline.”
Terrible shame! He will not survive in a boxing ring against anyone of any note.. He’s the best MMA heavyweight in the world right now and he needs to stay within his discipline.. 🤞
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) January 15, 2023
Whilst Ngannou hasn’t made his future plans clear, he’s always been open to boxing. Following Fury’s knockout victory over Dillian Whyte, the fighter from Cameroon entered the ring and hyped up a crossover bout with ‘The Gypsy King.’
He’s also been mentioned alongside Wilder and Anthony Joshua, as well as Whyte who had brief periods in MMA and kickboxing before his pro boxing campaign. Joe Joyce has suggested he’d be open to it, as well.
Ngannou has 12 knockouts in the UFC – including a five fight run that culminated in winning the heavyweight title. There’s no question he hits hard, but boxing fans are quick to remind their MMA counterparts that it’s almost a different skillset entirely.
Without the threat of takedowns and kicks, some have struggled to make the switch. For example, despite the incredible hype surrounding Conor McGregor facing Floyd Mayweather, the 50-0 boxer dealt with McGregor handily.
Only time will tell where Ngannou will go next, with plenty of other MMA organisations likely keen to snap him up.