Ngannou in Talks with Deontay Wilder for MMA Fight
Cameroonian fighter reveals discussions with former boxing champion
In an exclusive interview with journalist Ariel Helwani, Francis Ngannou, the Cameroonian MMA fighter, confirmed that he has been engaged in “very serious discussions” with boxer Deontay Wilder regarding a potential fight. This revelation comes amidst a flurry of rumors and speculations about Ngannou’s next move following his impressive performance against WBC champion Tyson Fury. Ngannou also expressed interest in bringing an English boxing champion into the world of MMA.
PFL Proposes Mixed Rules for Potential Fight
While there are several potential opponents on the horizon for Ngannou, including a rematch against Fury, a superfight against Anthony Joshua, or a title fight against Jon Jones, the Cameroonian seems to have his sights set on Deontay Wilder. Despite losing his WBC title to Fury in 2020, Wilder has been training in MMA for several months, according to Ngannou. When asked about the possibility of a cage fight with Wilder, Ngannou revealed that discussions have already begun and that the idea interests him, especially considering Wilder’s apparent seriousness about MMA.
A Long-Awaited Showdown
This is not the first time Ngannou and Wilder have expressed interest in facing each other. Last February, the two fighters engaged in a war of words through the media. Wilder even proposed a two-part fight, first in a cage and then in a ring. In an interview with The MMA Hour, Wilder expressed his desire for the fight to take place in Africa. Donn Davis, the founder and co-owner of the PFL, also confirmed the advanced state of discussions, suggesting the possibility of a unique MMA fight with mixed rules.
“I heard him on your show saying he was going to make a decision in the next couple of weeks and we already know what he’s working on…I think there are two options open to him: one fight in English and an MMA fight but slightly different which could be done with mixed rules,” says the boss of the PFL.
A Chance for Redemption
While Ngannou’s stock rose after his boxing debut against Fury, Deontay Wilder has not fought in over a year since his knockout victory against Robert Helenius in October 2022. Despite suffering two consecutive defeats against Fury in 2020 and 2021, a win against Ngannou on his home turf could potentially restore Wilder’s reputation and reignite his career.