Reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has claimed that he, as well as current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, and defending middleweight best, Israel Adesanya will all compete in a return to Africa, even if the UFC elect against hosting their premier event on the continent.
Ngannou, who headlines UFC 270 this weekend, attempts to successfully unify the heavyweight titles against MMA Factory standout, the undefeated interim gold holder, Ciryl Gane.
Francis Ngannou rides a five-fight knockout run into this weekend’s title clash with Ciryl Gane
The outing will come as Ngannou’s first since seizing the undisputed heavyweight title back in March with a thunderous second round knockout win over Stipe Miocic. And even more noteworthy, Saturday’s outing is the final on Ngannou’s current contract with the UFC, as his immediate fighting future with the organization remains firmly up in the air.
Whilst events which transpire on Saturday at UFC 270 will go a long way in factoring into the immediate future of Ngannou with the UFC, the Batie native touched on his future hopes to fight in his native Cameroon, and admitted that it’s paramount for himself, the aforenoted, Usman, and Adesanya to compete on the continent of Africa, even if the UFC elects against hosting an event there.
“It is a big dream to fight in Cameroon, but I also know it will be very hard to make a reality at this point,” Francis Ngannou told Stake during a recent interview ahead of UFC 270. “However, I believe eventually we will figure out a way to make it happen to fight for our people. It’s very important to each of us – myself, Israel (Adesanya) and (Kamaru) Usman. Ideally with the UFC, but even without the UFC, that is going to happen one day.” (Transcribed by MMA News)
While Francis Ngannou features this weekend in Anaheim, California – Adesanya is slated to return next month at UFC 271 in a middleweight championship rematch against former titleholder, Robert Whittaker.
For Auchi-born welterweight kingpin, Usman is expected to return sometime this summer in a potential welterweight title rematch against former-foe, the #3 ranked contender, Leon Edwards.