Tyson Fury once again got the job done on Saturday, absolutely flooring Dillian Whyte with a sixth-round uppercut to retain his WBC and The Ring heavyweight championships. But it was an appearance from UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou that really turned heads after the fight.
There, Fury and Ngannou teased a hybrid-rules heavyweight fight between boxing and MMA’s dominant heavyweight champions.
“It’s going to be a hybrid fight with different type of rules,” Ngannou said in the ring. “MMA gloves, in the ring, kind of like mix up, mix up [the rules], a little different.” Fury nodded in agreement.
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Later, Ngannou would suggest the bout would arrive sometime next year.
“Definitely sometime next year. 2023,” the UFC heavyweight champ stated. “That fight will happen because, by the end of this year, we’re going to sort it out and get settled, ready to go.”
By “sort it out,” Ngannou (17-3) likely means his contract situation. While he’s also rehabbing a knee injury, the biggest stumbling block for the UFC champ trying his hand at boxing has been his employer. “The Predator” fought out his current deal with the promotion earlier this year, at UFC 270 in January. While he’s under a champion’s clause, Ngannou has previously suggested that the term of the deal will expire after a year.
“The Gypsy King” Fury, with a 32-0-1 record, is the biggest heavyweight star boxing has seen in years. He’s long campaigned for a chance to compete against his UFC counterpart. The UFC, however, has been loathe to let their athletes try their hand at other sports, despite all UFC fighters technically being considered independent contractors. The lone exception to date has been “The Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor in 2017.