Conor McGregor is no stranger to daring cross-discipline fighting, having faced off against Floyd Mayweather in 2017 in a memorable boxing match. Now, the Irish martial arts superstar is expressing his support for ex UFC champion Francis Ngannou, who is set to face heavyweight boxing champion, Tyson Fury, in a 10-round fight. A match that promises to be as much of a shock to the sports world as McGregor’s own crossover was.
The former UFC champ has been quoted as saying “With power…anything can happen,” in regard to Ngannou’s chances against Fury. He argues that Ngannou’s strong striking ability and powerful mentality could tip the scales in his favor, especially in the later rounds when stamina becomes a crucial factor.
“Francis has power, McGregor said on Twitter. Francis has big power with a striker’s mentality. If it gets a bit tougher for him in the later rounds, the striker mentality will withstand, versus if it was a mixed martial artist’s mentality. With power, with that, anything can happen.”
McGregor also highlighted the potential advantage gained by Ngannou’s association with former heavyweight boxer, Mike Tyson. As Ngannou’s coach for this fight, Tyson’s influence and experience are certainly valuable assets. Tyson, much like Ngannou, often found himself the smaller man in many of his fights, something that Ngannou can certainly relate to as he faces the taller Fury.
“Mike Tyson in the corner, that type of style could be a kryptonite of a long, rangy distance type of fighter in Tyson Fury,” McGregor explained. “I don’t think Tyson Fury is going to want to let Francis test his power on him. Has Mike Tyson given some tips on how to get inside, change an angle to bang a shot that clips the top of the temple to make it into an interesting bout?”
Despite the odds favoring Fury, McGregor maintains his faith in Ngannou’s striking ability, which he believes will translate well to boxing. McGregor further stressed on the need for Ngannou to stick to striking in his fight against Fury, indicating that grappling would not yield desirable results for the Cameroonian fighter.
“Francis Ngannou for me is more of a kickboxer/boxer than he is a mixed martial artist in my opinion,” McGregor said. “He’s more of a standup fighter than he is a mixed martial artist. You start throwing in grappling with Francis, it’s never good for him. He has a striker’s mentality. This will stand to him in this bout.”
While acknowledging the tough test that awaits Ngannou in Fury, McGregor expressed his excitement to see how the fight would unfold.
McGregor, who will be ringside for the crossover match, cautioned that Ngannou should not underestimate Fury noting that the star boxer looked ‘fast, light, and elusive’ in the buildup to the fight.
“Tyson looks great in the buildup,” McGregor said. “Fast, light, elusive, it could be a seriously stellar performance from Tyson Fury here.”
The boxing match between Ngannou and Fury will take place on Saturday, with the main card set to begin at 2 p.m. ET on pay-per-view. McGregor, aside from his tweets, will be a keen observer of the action.