Francis Ngannou appears to have no shortage of opponents who want to face him in the ring. Paulo Costa, a middleweight contender, recently challenged the former UFC heavyweight champion to a boxing match. The always outspoken Brazilian even offered to fight the Cameroonian sans gloves.
Early this year, “The Predator” left the UFC following a protracted contract renegotiation conflict with the organisation. The Cameroonian made it very obvious shortly after leaving that he wanted his next fight to be a boxing bout, and he has been associated with numerous well-known boxers including Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Although a two-bout (MMA and boxing) agreement with Wilder appears to be imminent, there are no concrete updates on the situation of that fight. However, “Borrachinha” appears eager to take on Francis Ngannou and recently stated that he would be open to boxing the heavyweight bare-knuckle.
Costa recently called Ngannou out on Twitter and laid out his requirements:
Hello, Francis I’ve heard you’re trying to find a boxing rival. I can take off my gloves if you’d want. You decide, big brother.
Since his most recent match against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 Costa has been embroiled in a contract dispute with the UFC, similar to Francis Ngannou. Costa recently agreed to a $4 million, four-fight contract, despite being just a few months away from becoming a free agency.
Francis Ngannou next fight: ‘The Predator’ on fighting Deontay Wilder
While Francis Ngannou vs. Paulo Costa might be an impossible dream, combat sports fans might soon get to see the Cameroonian square off against Deontay Wilder. The negotiations for “The Predator” to face “The Bronze Bomber” in a two-fight deal have lately come to light, according to “The Predator.”
Following his free agency, Ngannou was approached by a number of other organizations, including Bellator, BKFC, and ONE Championship. The 36-year-old Cameroonian was certain that his next combat challenge would involve boxing, though.
Francis Ngannou discussed a hypothetical boxing contest with Deontay Wilder in an interview with TMZ Sports, mentioning Africa as a potential venue:
“Because [Deontay Wilder] is accessible, we are investigating him. He is equipped for that. He’s definitely eager for the fight. He desires it. So, we are investigating that. I’m quite excited about that. We even spoke about having one fight in Africa and one elsewhere. Why not at least one or two conflicts in Africa?