Chatri Sityodtong believes Francis Ngannou wouldn’t do well in ONE Championship.
Ngannou, the current UFC heavyweight champion, only has one fight left on his deal and many are uncertain about what will be next for him. It has been known he isn’t happy with the negotiations and wants to box and now Sityodtong, the ONE Championship CEO, says he wouldn’t sign Ngannou as he would get smoked by his heavyweights.
“I like Francis Ngannou but I think our heavyweights would smoke him,” Sitydtong said about Ngannou after ONE X (via SCMP MMA). “He’s just not a complete fighter. For sure, if you ask any expert martial artist, you look at [ONE interim heavyweight champ] Anatoly Malykhin – Russian national pedigree wrestler, dynamite in his hands. Much faster than Francis, much better ground game, black-belt level. He was also a submission champion in Europe. You look at [ONE heavyweight champ] Arjan Bhullar, wrestling, boxing. Francis is not very impressive on the ground. He’s got big, looping punches, he’s not as technical of a boxer as Anatoly or even Arjan.”
It is hard to believe Chatri Sityodtong believes that given Francis Ngannou has massive one-punch KO power and he showed off his well-rounded skill set by out wrestling Ciryl Gane to defend his belt. He also knocked out Stipe Miocic, who many consider being the greatest heavyweight of all time, so it’s likely he would do the same in ONE.
As well, ONE Championship’s heavyweight champion is Arjan Bhullar, who was let go by the UFC after going 3-1 and the promotion decided not to re-sign him. During his run, he beat Juan Adams, Marcelo Golm, and Luis Henrique by decision but was submitted by Adam Wieczorek. With that, it is hard to see how he would smoke Adams, but it is clear Chatri Sityodtong likes his heavyweights and as a promoter, that is what you are supposed to do.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime