RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Francis Ngannou has delivered a plethora of epic knockouts during his combat sports career, but he thinks a finish of Tyson Fury would hit different.
Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, will make his professional boxing debut on Saturday when he meets WBC heavyweight titleholder Fury in a 10-round bout that airs live on pay-per-view.
Few outside of Ngannou, 37, and his camp are giving him a chance of getting his hand raised, but he’s said he only needs his own belief. Ngannou is confident he can find the chin of Fury, and he said a knockout in this particular contest would differ from anything he’s ever done previously.
“I think that would be unique, man,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie during Tuesday’s grand arrival ceremony. “That would be a different feeling. Usually I can anticipate how it would feel like to have a knockout, because I know those one. But this one is quite different. I don’t know how it will feel, but I know it will feel way different.”
It’s been a long road for Ngannou to get this fight. After a tumultuous road to complete his UFC contract and part ways with the organization, many questioned Ngannou’s choice to leave a Jon Jones fight on the table to pursue different ventures.
He has no regrets about his choices, though, and said he already has a win over the court of public opinion. Now he’s trying to get another.
“This already is a success,” Ngannou said. “This is already a win. Saturday night, I’m going out there to find a second win, but I have one already. I have won everything.”
Ngannou hasn’t seen action since his January 2022 title unification win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. He admitted that the feeling of competition has become unfamiliar, but he doesn’t expect to have any rust once he steps inside the ring.
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.