Tony Bellew, a former cruiserweight world champion, has warned Francis Ngannou about moving from UFC to boxing. Ngannou, who held the UFC heavyweight title, vacated the belt after failing to reach a new agreement with UFC. Ngannou is now a free agent and the belt will be up for grabs when Ciryl Gane and Jon Jones fight on March 4 at UFC 285.
Last year, Ngannou talked about the possibility of fighting WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a boxing match. He was present at Fury's knockout win over Dillian Whyte in April 2022 at Wembley Stadium in London. After the event, Fury and Ngannou discussed the possibility of a cross-sport match, similar to Mayweather vs McGregor in 2017.
“I don’t really care about what [it] would be. I just think it’ll be a fight against Tyson Fury. It can be in a phone booth or wherever [but] that fight will happen, or (even) in the rooftop – that fight will happen. Obviously, he will not compete in MMA. That’s not something that could happen. He would get killed," Ngannou said.
Francis Ngannou has expressed in various interviews that he has aspirations to compete in the sport of boxing for a significant match. However, Tony Bellew would prefer if Ngannou continues to compete in MMA and avoids stepping into a boxing ring.
“Terrible shame! He will not survive in a boxing ring against anyone of any note. He’s the best MMA heavyweight in the world right now and he needs to stay within his discipline,” Bellew stated.
Ngannou has been out since his emphatic victory over Gane a year ago. He's been rehabbing from MCL and ACL injuries.