Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou is willing to do ‘everything that needs to be done’ to cause a major upset in his Battle Of The Baddest clash with Tyson Fury on October 28th.
A bout between the two has long been touted, with Ngannou appearing in the ring following Fury’s emphatic KO victory over Dillian Whyte back in April 2022. In a recent interview with ESPN, when it all felt ‘real’ for Ngannou, he disclosed he was confident it would go ahead after his initial meeting, before the contracts were even drawn up. He said:
“Even before I signed it (the contract), when I had the first meeting. They flew me to New York in June. I already knew some people in Saudi and I get to New York and at first I was sceptical then I get there and I am like ‘okay, let’s see.’ We get through those meetings, I meet the right people and I knew that this was happening, there and then. They are not here if it is a joke. It is happening.”
Taking a realistic look at the clash, Ngannou understands he may not match Fury’s skillset come fight night, but has prepared to the best of his ability. He admitted that preparation time did not matter in the lead up to the fight.
“The first thing that was going through my head is the time. ‘How long do I have? Right, how long do I have to be ready?’ You think maybe you should need more time, but I am like no, more time for what? You are not going to match a lifetime career over a couple of months, it’s just taking the chance.
“I think I was more excited over everything as it was something I was looking at and not many people believed in it and I think at some point, I think people were trying to step on my way to make this fight not happen.”
Previewing the contest, Ngannou knows the mammoth size of the task at hand and knows what he needs to do in order to cause a major shock:
“I need to do everything that can be done. That is very simple. Even in MMA fights, you don’t go to a fight ‘I need to work on this and that’ No, you need to work on everything, that’s how it works. Otherwise, you might have karma along the way, you don’t cheat in combat sports.”
Away from the actual result, Ngannou believes there is only one way he can really ‘lose’ the bout.
“There’s always win and there’s always loss but I do believe I am going to gain a lot out of this fight, experience wise, no matter what happens that night. My goal is not only to win but to prove to people I can box. If I don’t do that, then that is a loss.”
If the PFL star does manage to beat Fury, many believe it will go down as the biggest upset in boxing history.
“I don’t even know how I will react so I can’t know how the world will react. I don’t know how such a thing would look but we will find out that night.”
Ngannou’s story & rise to success is nothing short of admirable, having overcome many trials and tribulations throughout his life. Discussing his success and drive to accomplish greatness, the heavyweight said:
“I don’t think I am special in that sense, I think maybe I am stupid! When I think about something, I go after that thing. I don’t care what is coming my way, what is along the way, what is the obstacle, I put all my focus on that thing and I move forward, which is stuff that most people most of the time want to think about. If and if and if and maybe. For the most part they are afraid of failing, which is not my case. I get to the point where I accept I can fail, I take it as part of my journey, as part of my experience and I know that even if I fail, I will learn from it.”
The ‘Battle Of The Baddest’ takes place on October 28th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and will be available as a pay-per-view on DAZN.
By Jake Smith.