Ngannou said Monday there have been talks of a potential fight against Wilder, but in an MMA cage. Wilder, a former WBC heavyweight champion and one of the most popular names in boxing, has shown interest in fighting in MMA, according to Ngannou.
“That has been in the discussion,” Ngannou told Ariel Helwani on Monday. “That’s something that can potentially happen. Deontay Wilder for a couple of months, or a little while, has been training MMA because there’s an option here. Nothing is set, but some things have been coming to my attention, so that’s something that makes sense.
“He’s really serious about MMA. A lot of people talk – ‘I’m going to do this in boxing and do that in MMA’ – but Deontay Wilder is very interested in MMA, and even just to step in the (cage) for MMA and MMA only. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a different beast for him.”
Ngannou parted ways with the UFC earlier this year while still its heavyweight champion. He signed with the PFL, which will allow him outside ventures. Saturday, he lost his highly competitive boxing debut against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury by split decision in Saudi Arabia. He’s expected to make his PFL MMA debut in 2024.
Wilder has not fought in MMA. His most recent boxing match was a knockout of Robert Helenius in October 2022. Prior to that, he had back-to-back losses to Fury in championship fights.
For more on the matchup, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Fury vs. Ngannou.