Deontay Wilder is seriously contemplating switching to mixed martial arts , according to Francis Ngannou.
In the highly-anticipated heavyweight showdown between Fury and Ngannou, Fury entered the ring in Saudi Arabia as the clear favorite. Most fans believed Ngannou would need a decisive strike to secure an upset.
But the 37-year-old astounded everyone by delivering a remarkable performance, even clinching victory on one of the three scorecards. Despite this, the decision was overruled by the other two judges.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour in the week following the fight, Ariel Helwani proposed a potential MMA matchup between Ngannou and Wilder. This suggestion led the former UFC heavyweight champion to divulge some intriguing information.
Reflecting on his own near-upset of Fury in his boxing debut, Ngannou responded, “I think that’s a good idea. In fact, we have spoken about that. In fact, that has been in the discussion…So that’s something that can potentially happen.”
“Deontay Wilder for a couple months – for a little while now – [has] been training MMA…Nothing is set, but it’s been something [that’s] coming to my ear, to my attention. So that’s something that makes sense.”
Therefore, Ngannou believes Wilder is genuinely committed to exploring MMA. He acknowledges the challenges Wilder would face, emphasizing the rigorous preparation required.
He said: “He’s really serious about the MMA. I know a lot of people talk ‘Oh, I’m gonna do this in boxing and do that in MMA.’ But I think Deontay Wilder is very interested in MMA. Even just to step in the Octagon for MMA and MMA only.”
“But, again, it’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be a different beast for him. And like this time that I was the one experiencing the mountain – climbing the mountain – he’s gonna be the one climbing the mountain.”
Deontay Wilder boasts a notable record as a former WBC heavyweight champion. He competed against Tyson Fury to a draw in 2018 before Fury stopped him in their following two bouts.
In October of last year, Wilder successfully eliminated Robert Helenius in the first round.
The notion of Wilder potentially squaring off against the former UFC heavyweight champion in an MMA match has ignited discussion within the combat sports community. This comes in the wake of Ngannou’s astounding performance last weekend.
Undoubtedly, the PFL would relish the opportunity to arrange this matchup. This is especially true with Ngannou poised to make his promotional debut in the coming year.