Despite having a boxing match booked against the former UFC heavyweight champion, Fury is more than willing to switch things up after their Oct. 28 showdown in Saudi Arabia and step into the cage. Fury believes he can beat Ngannou under both disciplines and at least said he’d love to show that.
“I think I can beat you in the cage,” Fury told Ngannou directly during their kickoff news conference on Thursday. “I would kick your ass in the cage, no problem, 100 percent, 100 percent. I’ll personally beat you in the boxing ring and kick your ass in the cage. One hundred percent, I’ll beat you at boxing, and then I’ll beat you in the cage, no problem. … I’ll best him at boxing and then beat him in a cagefight, no two ways about it.”
Fury went off about beating Ngannou in MMA once Ngannou called him out for calling himself a “fighting champion.” Ngannou corrected Fury and said that he was a champion in boxing only.
Prior to the press conference, Fury explained in a red carpet interview why he thinks he would have success against Ngannou in MMA.
“I’d like to fight Ngannou in the cage,” Fury said. “I think I can beat him, for sure. He’s not a good jiu-jitsu man. He’s not a good wrestler. He’s known for his striking, and I’m a better striker than him, and with the little gloves I would knock him out in seconds.”
Fury later added, “I don’t think he can take me to the floor. I just don’t. I seriously don’t think he can beat me in an MMA fight. Honestly, I don’t. I think I catch him on the way with an uppercut and just use my takedown defense, push him down, ‘bang, bang, bang,’ grab him, knee, elbow, game over. I’d smash him to pieces.”
The boxing match between Fury and Ngannou is scheduled for 10 rounds, a fully professional bout, although Fury’s WBC heavyweight title won’t be on the line.
Fury has yet to compete in 2023. The last time he defended the WBC belt was back in December, a TKO win over Derek Chisora in London.
Ngannou has never competed in a boxing match but has vast experience in MMA. Ngannou has 20 professional MMA fights, with the last one being a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane in January 2022.
After almost a fill year of sitting out, Ngannou vacated his UFC heavyweight title and left the promotion earlier this year. In May, Ngannou signed a groundbreaking deal with the PFL that gave him equity and a leadership role in the promotion, as well as the freedom to pursue boxing.
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.