Aljamain Sterling is giving Francis Ngannou a chance against Tyson Fury.
Sterling: Ngannou ‘Won In The Sense Of Betting On Himself’
In his first fight since his UFC departure, the former heavyweight champion will be making his boxing debut on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia… Not everybody was a big believer in Ngannou getting a big fight following his ‘wild gamble’ from leaving the UFC, but ‘The Predator’ proved his doubters wrong with a super-fight now secured with ‘The Gypsy King’.
UFC Bantamweight Champion Sterling is happy to see how it all panned out for Ngannou.
“Francis Ngannou getting that bag against Tyson Fury. I love this for Francis,” Sterling said on his podcast. “Everything he stood for, held out for, losing out on time, he’s getting it all back and it’s all come back full circle. We’ve never seen a thing like this happen with a fighter leaving the UFC in a situation like that, that sets a whole new precedent.
“I think it shows that sometimes it’s cool to bet on yourself. UFC’s typically the biggest show in town that can never be disputed. So for someone to say, I’m not gonna take the bird in hand, I’m gonna try to take the two or in Francis’s case, maybe the eight or ten in the bush and take all those bags back home to try to eat, that’s a wild gamble and I like to say he won. He won in the sense of betting on himself.”
‘Not A Competition’
Ngannou: 1, UFC: 0? Not exactly, explains Sterling.
“It’s not a competition now. So, I’m not by any way saying that, ‘oh, it was a competition with the UFC’. I’m saying he won in the sense of he did what was best for him and it worked out to his advantage,” Sterling clarified his comments. “I’m happy for the guy, man, how can you not be happy for a guy like that who a lot of people were calling, calling him stupid and calling him all these names and saying that, ‘oh, his legacy, legacy this, legacy that’… guys, this is prize fighting. We are here to fight for the prize. He just got the prize, the biggest prize that you could possibly get. Let that man eat. You could say whatever you want about the fight. I’m tuning in to watch that.”
Sterling Compares Ngannou To Deontay Wilder
Many critics have pointed out that Ngannou doesn’t stand a chance against Fury. Ngannou will step into the ring with no experience as a boxing pro against one of the best there is with Fury being an undefeated heavyweight and holder of multiple world titles.
Regardless of all that, Ngannou is given a puncher’s chance by Sterling, who thinks his proven power in the Octagon will transfer over to the squared circle.
“I know Ngannou’s got this freakish power and if he touches that chin, he’s putting [someone to sleep],” Sterling continued. “He’s prominently a boxer, right? He ain’t a grappler, he ain’t a kickboxer. But we all know, Francis Ngannou can punch and if he connects that is as Deontay Wilder as as it gets— it might not be as clean. But Deontay, everyone always said he was wild style.
“Now you got Francis who’s a bigger man than Deontay, might not be the most technical boxer, but give him time to train for this fight, put the time in, puncher’s chance at that body weight, if he could connect one time, even if he just swarms with these bungalow punches, I’m here for it.”
‘The Bronze Bomber’ Deontay Wilder was able to connect on Fury in their first fight in 2018. Wilder knocked down Fury for a second time in round 12 and while it looked like Fury was out, the Brit miraculously got back to up his feet to finish the round and make it to the distance.
Sterling’s Super Proud Of Ngannou
It’s all love from Aljamain Sterling to Francis Ngannou and the UFC Bantamweight Champion will be making sure to tune in to Fury vs. Ngannou on Oct. 28.
“I’m watching it. Let that man get paid,” Sterling added. “I’m glad they were able to help him and secure his legacy for himself and his future. Dude, congrats to Francis Ngannou, man. That’s what it’s all about. Super proud of him. Super happy for him and uh, I look forward to seeing what’s this fight is gonna look like for him in the future. Nothing but love and the best for him.”