Francis Ngannou’s days as an MMA fighter aren’t over but.
The previous UFC heavyweight champion and PFL fighter was in London on Monday for a press convention to advertise his upcoming boxing match with Anthony Joshua, which takes place March 8. Following the presser, Ngannou spoke to DAZN and declared that he nonetheless plans to return to MMA competitors someday sooner or later.
“It’s a mix,” Ngannou mentioned when requested to decide on between MMA and boxing. “I’m a man who fights, I imply, I don’t actually wish to get hit, however I wish to hit individuals. Anytime when there’s some good individual to hit in a giant struggle, ring me up, I’ll come and attempt to hit and never get hit. That’s what issues.
“At this level, I’m not achieved with MMA. I can inform you that I’m not achieved with MMA, as a result of I nonetheless imagine that there’s nonetheless some nice fights on the market that I can nonetheless provide followers. My MMA followers had been my base, who additionally helped me to get to this place, so I’m nonetheless fascinated about how you can work with that neighborhood.”
Ngannou has not fought in MMA since efficiently defending the UFC heavyweight title towards Ciryl Gane in January 2022. What adopted was a 12-month stretch of inactivity that ended with he and the UFC unable to come back to phrases on a brand new contract. He then relinquished the title, changing into a free agent, and later signed with the PFL as each an government (together with being named chairman of the PFL Africa venture) and a fighter, although he has but to struggle for the league.
In Ngannou’s absence, Jon Jones defeated Gane for a vacant title at UFC 285. Ngannou and Jones have publicly mentioned combating one another for years, and so they continued to snipe at one another following Ngannou’s departure from the promotion. Regardless of their historical past and the magnitude of that potential matchup, Ngannou nonetheless favors a rematch towards undefeated heavyweight boxing star Tyson Fury, who Ngannou misplaced a slender cut up resolution to this previous October.
“Rematch towards Fury,” Ngannou mentioned when requested if he’d quite struggle Jones or Fury. “Rematch towards Fury, as a result of I’ve a style of unfinished enterprise. I wasn’t mad after the choice, however I nonetheless have this sense of injustice. If you really feel one thing wasn’t proper, wasn’t simply, I nonetheless have that feeling. I received the struggle. I imagine that I received the struggle. … That doesn’t matter at this level, however nonetheless I’ve that feeling and I actually assume I can do higher.”