Long before Francis Ngannou became one of the most feared contenders in the UFC heavyweight division, he was dreaming of a career as a professional boxer.
While he’s currently focused on his MMA career, it sounds as though he hasn’t given up on his dreams of competing in the boxing ring.
“So, first of all, boxing is my background,” Francis Ngannou recently told Helen Yee (via LowKickMMA). “Boxing was my first love for a very long time. For more than 10 years I have been loving boxing without even knowing what MMA was. Then, I get in MMA by opportunity, but still boxing lover. So, I think, at some point, I can end up to cross paths with that dream.
“Sooner or later, it’s going to definitely — it might happen.”
If Francis Ngannou does migrate to the sport of boxing, his power will make him a dangerous opponent for just about anybody — even if he’s a few steps behind in terms of technique. For that reason alone, UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes the UFC heavyweight could reach championship heights in the ring.
“Mark my words, if Francis Ngannou decides to jump ship and go to heavyweight boxing, he will nuke some fools,” Rogan said on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“If Francis Ngannou has a problem with grappling, what does he not have a problem with? Striking. He KOs Alistair Overeem. Alistair Overeem is a world class striker. He’s a kickboxer at the highest level, wins the K-1 Grand Prix. I mean, he’s knocked out Badr Hari, he’s beaten ‘Turkish Tyson’ (Gokhan Saki), he’s beaten some good guys.
“Francis Ngannou, everyone he connects with other than Stipe [Miocic], goes night night. Stipe is the only guy. Stipe figured out how to use his championship mettle, use his grit, use his takedowns, and won the fight.”
How do you think Francis Ngannou would perform as a professional boxer?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/24/2019.