Skip to main content

Francis Ngannou won’t need very much convincing to step inside the ring with Tyson Fury.

The UFC heavyweight champion has long professed his desire to take on challenges within boxing, an ambition which has led to questions as to Ngannou’s future within the UFC. The Cameroonian star, who defeated Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision in his last title defence back in January, is expected to return from knee surgery late this year or early next, though in what type of fight remains a source of much discussion.

Ngannou is currently out of contract in the UFC, though they hold his promotional rights until the end of the year — or roughly when he will be fit to fight once again — and he has made clear that he will no re-up with the organisation unless there are provisions in his contract which allow him to take on boxing matches.

The UFC, though, have traditionally stayed away from cross promotional situations like this and would likely need some convincing to give their blessing if Ngannou and Fury are to fight while Ngannou remains under their contractual control.

However, Ngannou and Fury continue to keep the potential bout in the public eye — and the UFC champ confirmed again on Twitter he is more than down for the fight in the pair’s latest Twitter exchange.

“Thought you wanted some smoke Francis Ngannou. Let’s do a proper fight! Wembley Stadium 2022,” Fury wrote on Twitter, prompting a reply from Ngannou in which he said he is very much game.

“Don’t you dare think that I take my eyes out of you. You’re still my priority ! I’m coming for all the smoke,” he wrote, before adding 2023.

A 2022 date as Fury called for seems improbable given Ngannou’s current injury status — but with Fury pushing for the fight, perhaps all sides could be convinced if the financials associated with the fight are right.

In the meantime, the UFC are rumoured to be considering an interim heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones, which means that Ngannou will have no shortage of potential opponents (in two different sports) when he emerges from the treatment room.