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Dana White reacts to Anthony Joshua knocking out Francis Ngannou

LockerRoom Team
11 March 2024

In a stunning turn of events, Anthony Joshua delivered a crushing blow to Francis Ngannou just one day before UFC 299 in Miami, leaving Dana White, the president of the UFC, unsurprised but concerned about the trend of MMA fighters transitioning into boxing.

Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion, faced Joshua in a highly anticipated boxing match, following his previous bout where he knocked down lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and narrowly missed victory. However, his encounter with Joshua unfolded in stark contrast, as Ngannou succumbed to two knockdowns in the first and second rounds, culminating in a devastating overhand right that left him unconscious before he hit the canvas.

White, reflecting on the knockout, admitted he wasn't taken aback, stating, “I saw it on social media. Going into the Fury fight, if Fury trained for the fight and didn’t show up and look like he ate Tyson Fury, that’s probably the way that fight would have ended, too.” Despite Ngannou's previous impressive performance against Fury, the outcome against Joshua underscored the risks involved in crossover fights between MMA and boxing.

Ngannou's aspirations for boxing were well-known during his tenure in the UFC, with talks of a potential matchup against Fury playing a role in his decision to depart from the promotion. While his venture into boxing initially yielded promising results, his recent defeat against Joshua has reignited the debate over the compatibility of MMA fighters in the realm of professional boxing.

Expressing his reservations about crossover fights, White emphasized, “You know how I feel about crossovers into boxing. That’s how they end. Just like that.” The brutal knockout suffered by Ngannou served as a stark reminder of the dangers inherent in such transitions.

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Despite White's apprehensions, Ngannou has indicated his intention to return to boxing, raising questions about his next move, including the possibility of debuting with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) following his departure from the UFC. As Ngannou navigates his future in combat sports, the repercussions of his defeat against Joshua serve as a cautionary tale in the ongoing discourse surrounding the intersection of MMA and boxing.

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