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Fedor Emelianenko ready to fight Francis Ngannou

LockerRoom Team
20 February 2024

Legendary heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko has once again captured headlines with his bold declaration of willingness to step into the boxing ring against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. While the prospect of such a matchup may seem unexpected in 2024, Emelianenko's recent comments have sparked intrigue among combat sports enthusiasts.

Emelianenko, 47, officially retired following his first-round technical knockout loss to Ryan Bader in their rematch at Bellator 290 in February 2023. Despite stepping away from MMA competition, the Russian icon has expressed interest in exploring boxing opportunities, particularly against fellow legends like Mike Tyson, who notably assisted Ngannou in his recent foray into professional boxing.

Ngannou, 37, made his boxing debut against Tyson Fury in October 2023, where he showcased an impressive performance despite ultimately losing via split decision. Emelianenko, also known as "The Last Emperor," has now thrown his hat into the ring, expressing his desire to face Ngannou in a boxing match.

"I can fight MMA guys, too," Emelianenko stated in an interview with Ushatayka_tm (h/t Red Corner MMA). "I’d like to fight Francis Ngannou. I want to box him. I can’t do MMA anymore, but I’d like to box him."

Emelianenko's last victory came in a first-round knockout victory over Tim Johnson in Russia. Ngannou's boxing venture came between his last MMA bout, a unanimous decision win against Ciryl Gane in January 2022, and his upcoming boxing match against Anthony Joshua scheduled for March 8, 2024.

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While Emelianenko's interest in a boxing match against Ngannou adds a new layer to the combat sports landscape, Ngannou remains focused on his return to MMA competition, expected to take place under the Professional Fighters League's (PFL) banner in 2024. As speculation swirls around potential matchups, fans eagerly await further developments in the careers of these two iconic fighters.

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