After Tyson Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte in the sixth round of their Heavyweight title fight (see it again here), “The Gypsy King” surprised everyone by bringing in current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, inside the ring to announce a potential “hybrid fight” between the two behemoths.
It sounds like a good idea, but will it actually happen?
Sure, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has loosened up on its once-strict rules where fighters under contract couldn’t participate in other forms of combat outside of the Octagon — which was one of many sticking points in Fedor Emelianenko’s hesitance to sign with the promotion.
But, Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments are one thing, a boxing match is quite another.
And when you take into consideration that this one will involve one of its champions with an uncertain future, the chances of it getting the green light from Dana White and Co. seem pretty slim at the moment.
Everyone will point to Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, but that was a one-off exception that involved the biggest box office draw mixed martial arts (MMA) has ever seen and one of the, if not the, greatest boxers of our generation. Plus, we cannot forget that UFC also got a big piece of that pie, which was a big factor in getting the go-ahead.
While Ngannou vs. Fury has a nice ring to it, it’s not Mayweather vs. McGregor. Ngannou is a scary man once he steps inside the cage, but he has yet to prove he’s a box office machine. And when you take into consideration that he and UFC have been at odds in regard to a new contract, the odds are heavily against him. Because Dana White can say he’s had great conversations with “The Predator” all he wants, but until he’s inked to a new deal the tension is still likely there.
Plus, the hard-hitting big man is still recovering from knee surgery, which will keep him out until 2023. So, while a lot can happen in the course of the next 10 to 12 months, we can’t hold our collective breath for this one to go down.
And I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I’d love to see this fight ... if it were a true boxing match. The fact they the two want a “hybrid” fight that includes a boxing ring, MMA gloves and special rules, it just sounds ... weird. If it were an MMA fight, Ngannou tools the big man. In a straight up boxing match, Fury owns Ngannou.
It’s a tale as old as time.
In the end, the only way this fight happens is if by some miracle UFC plays ball and co-promotes one more time, or just flat out grants Ngannou his full release to let him do as he pleases with his combat career moving forward.
Unfortunately, either option coming to fruition is hard to imagine right now.
For complete Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte results and play-by-play, click HERE.