UFC Analyst Ariel Helwani Hails Francis Ngannou As the Next Mike Tyson For UFC

Published 03/31/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 28: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at the Target Center on June 28, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Francis Ngannou is the hottest name in the MMA world right now. He is coming off yet another vicious KO. However, this time the man he KOd was UFC Heavyweight Champion and the man considered the divisional GOAT in Stipe Miocic.

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Noted UFC analyst Ariel Helwani interviewed Ngannou and told him about how he feels Ngannou compared to boxing legend Mike Tyson with his punching power. However, he differentiated them by noting that Ngannou is still growing his skill-set.

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“That’s the scary part about you. It feels like you’re scratching the surface. You know, I made this analogy on Monday. I think you’re the closest thing the UFC has ever had to Mike Tyson. You have that power, you’re an intimidating presence. But yet, when Mike Tyson became champion, it felt like, ‘all right. This is Mike Tyson the finished product.’ With you, it still feels like you have so much more to do and to improve on.”

Ngannoiu responded to what Helwani said by agreeing with him. “Absolutely and that’s exactly how I feel like. If I keep working like this, in the next two-three years, where will I be? I’ll be very far skill-wise. I didn’t grow up doing a sport or being an athlete. Before MMA, I didn’t have any sport experience.”

Francis Ngannou: Is he comparable to Tyson?

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Francis Ngannou and Mike Tyson may be similar in terms of how they fight. However, both men have very different journeys. Tyson was world champion by the age of 20. Meanwhile, Ngannou at the age of 20 was still years removed from even his first bits of organized training in MMA.

December 2, 2017 – Detroit, Michigan, USA – September 16, 2017: Francis Ngannou knocks out Alistair Overeem in the first round during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Credit Image: © Scott Taetsch via ZUMA Wire)

However, the knockout sensations that both men are is what makes them comparable. The star attraction with Tyson was that nobody could knock someone out like Tyson. It is a similar story with Ngannou, who is one of the most proficient KO artists in MMA today.

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Francis still has most of his career in front of him, so there is no cap on how much he can still develop. While age will slow him down eventually, he doesn’t have nearly the fight damage that most people with his resume have. It could be a long reign for Ngannou at the top, something Tyson didn’t have.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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