We are less than a week removed from Boxing’s Battle of the Baddest between former UFC heavyweight champion and current PFL star Francis Ngannou (17-3) and lineal heavyweight champion and P4P boxing great Tyson Fury (34-0-1). While things have had a few days to settle, I’m still in shock in terms of what we saw on Saturday.
Many, including myself, figured that Tyson Fury would give Francis Ngannou a boxing lesson. While Ngannou is known for his ungodly power and striking which carried him to the UFC heavyweight title, he’s never been in boxing match before. While his original dream was to be a professional boxer, he’d never been in the squared circle until Saturday.
Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has built a career and resume that has him going down as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Fury is also a massive human who knows how to use his size and skill in the ring like no other. I figured that Ngannou was in for a long night.
However, the odds have been against Francis Ngannou throughout his entire life and he’s consistently defied the odds. Saturday was no different. In a shocking turn of events, Francis Ngannou, in the eyes of many, outboxed Tyson Fury over the course of ten rounds and even dropped the lineal heavyweight champion in the third round.
Fury walked away with a split decision victory, but if you ask anyone who walked away the winner of the fight, it would be fairly unanimous in favor of Francis Ngannou. Today on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, there was an interesting discussion regarding what would be bigger for Francis Ngannou. The question was around a rematch with Fury or a matchup with current UFC heavyweight champion and P4P MMA king, Jon Jones (27-1, 1 NC).
UFC/PFL or Boxing?
Of course, this is obviously a fantasy debate. Ngannou left the UFC as the heavyweight champion and signed with the PFL earlier this year. Jon Jones went on to become heavyweight champion after Ngannou vacated the title by leaving the promotion. As of now, the historic matchup between Ngannou and Jones will go down as one of the great “What ifs?”
However, what if it could happen? What if the UFC and the PFL could come together for one night and put on this fight that the world wanted to see? Would that be bigger than the Tyson Fury rematch? They debated this on the MMA Hour today and I’m here with my opinion. In my opinion, Ngannou – Jones is bigger than Ngannou against any boxer.
While I cover both sports, MMA is at my core which might make some think I’m biased. However, here’s where I’m coming from. I believe that most think that Tyson Fury overlooked Francis Ngannou. I also believe that the majority of people believe in a rematch, Fury would win a lot easier than he did this first time around.
I honestly don’t think there would be an insane amount of interest in that boxing rematch. There would be decent interest, but would it be bigger than the PFL versus the UFC? I don’t believe so. Anyone who truly knows combat sports knows that the greatest heavyweight in MMA is truly the “Baddest Man on the Planet”.
Ngannou is looked at by many as having that title, however, Jon Jones is considered by many to be the best to ever do it. The baddest versus the best in a co-promotion that the world would be tuning in for. I don’t know about you, but I think that takes the cake as the most intriguing fight out there in all of combat sports.