The current interim WBC Heavyweight Champion, Dillian Whyte is doubling down on his desire to take out UFC star Francis Ngannou.
Speaking on the Talk The Talk podcast with Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellow, Whyte (27-1) talked about a potential return to MMA, where he has a 1-0 record after one fight in 2008. He has called out Ngannou (15-3) in the past, stating he’s a coward following his two lone defeats in the UFC. Both times, against Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis, he did not display the same explosiveness that resulted in vicious knockout shots.
“I’ve had MMA fights. There’s one on the internet, my debut, lasted only 20 seconds or whatever. Their game plan would be to kick the legs and take me down. He (Ngannou) would never try and stand up with me, he’s not stupid,” Whyte stated, via Bad Left Hook. “He would never try and do that. The thing is, I come from a martial arts background. I can wrestle and I can do Thai boxing. It’s a fight, I don’t care. I will have it.
“If he fought someone like me, he’s going to be a lot more cautious and a lot more careful.”
Ngannou is on a four-fight win streak, with all four wins coming via some sort of knockout finish. He beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds at UFC 249 via KO, earning a Performance of the Night bonus. He has not yet responded to Whyte’s messages to him.
While it doesn’t seem he will get a fight with Ngannou, Whyte will focus his attention on his upcoming opponent. Whyte was meant to clash with Alexander Povetkin in May, but the fight was postponed due to the coronavirus. It is now on July 4, if everything goes according to plan. Whyte had nothing but nice things to say when scouting Povetkin.
“He’s not going to come to mess about. Povetkin’s gonna come to fight,” Whyte went on to say. “There’s something about Povetkin that’s very similar to me. The mind set, you know? He just smiles and says, ‘OK, I come fight.'”
Povetkin (35-2-1) is 1-1-1 in his last three fights. A former WBA Heavyweight Champion, Povetkin lost to Anthony Joshua in 2018, ending an eight-fight win streak. He then beat Hughie Fury via unanimous decision before fighting Michael Hunter to a split decision draw in December.
Whyte’s last bout was a unanimous decision win over Mariusz Wach in December. Not looking like himself in Saudi Arabia, Whyte admits that he could have been better on all fronts. Povetkin fought at that show as well and might have seen what was off with him. Whyte doesn’t think the same fighter will show up and challenges anyone who doubts him to step up. That includes Povetkin.
“These guys look at me one fight, they don’t know what’s going on in my career or my life, and the next fight I come in completely different,” Whyte stated. “My style changes every fight and every camp. If you watch my last three fights, they’ve all been different styles. I just let them say what they want, whoever wants it can get it, simple as that.”
“Povetkin is technically good, that’s one thing I give him, he’s technically sound. And he’s out-fought tough guys because he keeps coming forward. But when I hit him, and I will hit him, I’m going to try to hit him as hard as I can, as soon as I can. They saw me in Saudi and they’re thinking he’s a bit slow. They’ll see a completely different Dillian Whyte. I’m already in good shape now and I’m only going to get better.”