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Francis Ngannou is the darling of two separate codes of combat sports, but he says he is forgetting what brought him to the dance in the first place.

The former UFC heavyweight champion, now a member of the PFL roster, takes on his second challenge in the ring on March 8 when he fights Anthony Joshua in a bout that could hugely upset the apple cart in boxing. But while it seems that more and more opportunities will present themselves in the sport — and especially if he pulls off the upset against Joshua in a couple of months’ time — Ngannou says that he will never turn his back on the sport that gave him these opportunities in the first place.

“It’s a combination,” Ngannou said to DAZN of his intentions to split time between both boxing and MMA, as noted by MMA Fighting.

“At this point, I’m not done with MMA. I can tell you that I’m not done with MMA, because I still believe that there’s still some great fights out there that I can still offer fans. My MMA fans were my base, who also helped me to get to this position, so I’m still thinking about how to work with that community.”

It is now two years since Ngannou last competed in MMA; a decision win over Ciryl Gane in defence of his UFC heavyweight title. A possible fight with Jon Jones, who later succeeded him as champion, didn’t come to fruition — and it perhaps telling that Ngannou appears more focused on boxers and mixed martial artists, and both the paycheques provided by both sports, at this stage of his career.

“Rematch against Fury,” Jones said, after being asked if he would like to fight Fury or Jon Jones. “Rematch against Fury, because I have a taste of unfinished business. I wasn’t mad after the decision, but I still have this feeling of injustice. When you feel something wasn’t right, wasn’t just, I still have that feeling. I won the fight. I believe that I won the fight. … That doesn’t matter at this point, but still I have that feeling and I really think I can do better.”