“He’s Got to Start Grappling and Wrestling”: Amid Octagon Fight Reports With Francis Ngannou, MMA Legend Details the ‘Smart Cage’ Tactics Deontay Wilder Has to Learn

Published 11/07/2023, 6:16 AM EST

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In a seismic showdown that left the world astir, Francis Ngannou may have faced defeat against the undefeated boxer Tyson Fury, but he undoubtedly stamped himself as the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet.’ Many still passionately contend that he was victorious and that his display in the ring was nothing short of high-caliber boxing. Ngannou’s astonishing performance sent shockwaves across the combat sports fans. An exclamation point was the moment he sent Tyson Fury tumbling to the canvas with his explosive punch.

A testament to Ngannou’s extraordinary skill and resilience in a fight that will forever be etched in the annals of boxing lore. Things are getting more interesting now, for the crossover events, since Deontay Wilder has offered a two-fight deal to Ngannou. So, there’s a chance for the first time in history, a boxer would get inside the ‘Smart Cage’ against a veteran MMA athlete. The former MMA fighter had some views on this development.

Former MMA athlete gives crucial advice to Deontay Wilder


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At first, when Randy Couture got to know about Wilder thinking about stepping into the world of MMA, he was quite impressed. He also stated that it’s commendable how he genuinely wants to do such a thing that’s never been done before, and it’s blatant evidence of his “warrior spirit“. Furthermore, later in the interview, Couture was asked about the advice he would give to ‘The Bronze Bomber’ before he stepped inside the cage.

He said, “He’s got to start grappling and wrestling he needs to figure out how to protect himself if he gets taken down. He needs to learn how to sprawl and counter takedowns. It’s exactly what Sadibou’s been doing exactly what Francis has been doing you know.” He gave the example of Swedish MMA athlete Sadibou Sy, who couldn’t deal with it when he was taken down and tied up.

He continued, “I think that’s exactly what Deontay needs to be looking at, is immersing himself in an MMA gym somewhere. Being willing to take some lumps, get submitted, figure out what this kicking thing and, elbows well.” If Wilder is actually thinking about facing Ngannou on both sides of the world, he’ll have to train as hard as he can. However, Ngannou has himself vouched for Wilder’s MMA training.

Wilder has been training in MMA for a while now


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During a PFL event, Deontay Wilder was asked about the prospects of the fight against Francis Ngannou. He talked about how he doesn’t just want a boxing fight but wants to go forward with a two-fight deal. He said, “I want to make it more interesting for the fans, I said, how about you come to my backyard (boxing match), and after that we handle business and I can come to your and crossover.

Later, in Ariel Helwani‘s show The MMA Hour, Francis Ngannou stated that Wilder is serious about this deal. He said, “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. He’s really serious about MMA.


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Well, this would be an interesting matchup, as both of them are known for their hard-hitting punches. Since the Fury fight, Ngannou has been getting a lot of offers from other boxers. Even Derek Chisora called him out recently. So the fighters with the hardest KO power in the world, facing each other, doesn’t sound bad. What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments section.

Watch This Story: All We Know So Far About Potential Francis Ngannou vs. Deontay Wilder MMA Fight


Written by:

Chirag Radhyan


One take at a time

Chirag Radhyan is a Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports. He has authored over 300 articles and loves to talk about the animosity between athletes, leading up to a fight. His coverage of the off-court drama between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury received widespread appreciation from readers.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen