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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Davies

Francis Ngannou offered bare-knuckle boxing fight by UFC middleweight

Francis Ngannou has been offered a bare-knuckle boxing fight by UFC middleweight Paulo Costa.

The Cameroon star has not fought since defending his UFC heavyweight crown against Cyril Gane in January last year, after agreeing to leave the promotion following failure to agree a new contract. Now he is currently a free agent after vacating his title, and is considering a number of future options including exploits in the boxing ring.

Ngannou has been in talks with a number of promotions and received a high volume of offers including from bare-knuckle boxing promotion BKFC who are keen to secure his signature. And UFC middlweight Paulo Costa, who has reportedly tied himself down to a new deal with the UFC, has made a play to become Ngannou's first opponent if he joins BKFC.

“Hey Francis (Ngannou) I heard you’re looking for a boxer opponent,” the Brazilian tweeted in bizarre circumstances taking aim at Ngannou. “If you prefer I can put my gloves off too. It’s up to you big brother.”

Costa has a huge size discrepency against Ngannou and a fight would be highly unlikely to take place. Ngannou campaigned two weights above the contender in the UFC, but Costa has made it clear of his own intentions to potentially step into the squared circle himself despite suggestions he has agreed a new contract.

Ngannou has been linked with a huge array of leading names in both MMA and boxing since his UFC departure including Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. The Predator's long held an ambition of meeting the 'Gypsy King' in the ring but talks have gone silent since their public agreements on social media.

Who do you think Francis Ngannou should fight? Let us know in the comments section below

It is understood that Wilder is now leading the chase to be matched up against Ngannou first with extensive talks being held over a lucrative two-fight deal. However BKFC chairman David Feldman has made it clear that he intends to make a play for Ngannou himself and is set to make an offer of his own.

“We’re going after the biggest name, but we’ll see what happens there. Biggest name in free agency," Feldman said on the MMA Hour. “I’m not sure if he’s out of that window yet, but we’re definitely making a play for him. At that stage, you’re talking about the money, right? If we can back that kind of money up, we’re in the game. I don’t think we’re out of the game for anything right now.

"To be honest with you, we have a good partner that we just partnered with that likes to think outside the box, likes to disrupt things as we do. And I think that there’s a great opportunity for us to get the biggest and best names out there.”

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