Since his departure from the UFC at the start of the year, more doors have opened for former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. One of them is a possible opportunity to face Tyson Fury in a boxing match, something he’s been calling for even during his reign as a UFC champion.
“The Predator” built himself a reputation of being one of MMA’s hardest hitters, which makes his boxing transition intriguing for many. But for UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira, it may not be a good idea, especially if Ngannou chooses to immediately jump into the deep end.
“It depends if he’s fighting the elite. [Boxing against] Tyson is hard. It’s suicide,” Pereira told MMA Fighting.
“There are other guys for him to start. [He can go] one step at a time. If he really wants to fight those guys, then he’s just thinking about the money. I don’t know if that’s the case. But to say ‘I’m going there because I want to become champion,’ that’s hard.”
“Poatan” went on to explain the possible difficulties that Ngannou may face.
“[Boxing] someone who can defend from his punches, [Ngannou] would get tired,” Pereira said.
“I’ll give you a dumb example: If you ask someone who’s never trained in his life to go against someone experienced and tell him to hit as hard as he can to knock him out, he’ll gas out in three minutes, and then one weak punch will knock him out since he has no defense anymore and can barely stand still.
“To me, knowing how to defend yourself is the most important thing.”
The 36-year-old Ngannou says he’s already been in contact with Team Fury and targets June or July as the possible timeline for the fight.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)