Demetrious Johnson explains why he thinks Anthony Joshua would beat Francis Ngannou in MMA

By Susan Cox - March 11, 2024

Demetrious Johnson is explaining why he thinks Anthony Joshua would also beat Francis Ngannou in an MMA fight.

Francis Ngannou and Anthony Joshua - Joshua vs. Ngannou

Ngannou, the former heavyweight champion, parted ways with the UFC in January of last year and proceeded to sign on with the Professional Fighter’s League in May of 2023.

The 37-year-old recently lost his second match in the ring, being knocked out cold in Round 2 by Anthony Joshua (28-3, 25 KOs) in the heavyweight main event bout from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last Friday, March 8th (see that here).

The former UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson (25-4 MMA), spoke on his YouTube channel, outlining his thoughts about a potential MMA matchup between Nagannou and Joshua:

“Does Anthony Joshua beat Francis Ngannou in an MMA fight? I think he does. It would just be another striking match. AJ understands his distance. He understands the void. He has better hands than Francis, and he can make Francis even whiff and miss again. Unless Francis is going to change his tactic and go clinch him and wrestle him, (Anthony Joshua would win). But AJ is very athletic. He is smaller, he’s more limber. I think he’d be able to stuff the shot and be able to give it to Francis Ngannou.”

Continuing, Johnson said:

“I’m not saying Francis has not taken it seriously. If I was to take a boxing match, I will probably spend eight months to a year preparing myself for the boxing match. Reason why is because the punches come faster. The movement is different. There’s only one weapon, and you only can use one weapon, right? I can’t use my kicks. I can’t use my knees. I can’t use my elbows. I can’t use my wrestling. How am I going to cross the void when I can’t use all the weapons, I’ve been using for the last 18 years?”

Concluding, ‘Mighty Mouse’ spoke about Ngannou’s fight with Fury saying (h/t MMAJunkie):

“Another thing that could have been Francis’ downfall was he had that boxing match with Tyson Fury. So, Anthony Joshua got an opportunity to see Francis fight in boxing. What he took from the boxing match on Francis vs. Tyson? He probably took, ‘Okay, Francis doesn’t move his head. He doesn’t really move his head. He’s not very light on his feet,’ where Tyson Fury, he’s kind of light on his feet and Tyson’s trying to avoid the fight. This time, Anthony Joshua got right to work right off the bat, and that’s usually not a good sign if the other opponent doesn’t respond.”

Ngannou (0-2) had previously fought Tyson Fury (34-0, 24 KOs) in October of last year, and although going all 10 rounds, lost by split decision.

Do you agree with Demetrious Johnson that should Anthony Joshua and Francis Ngannou ever meet in MMA, the result would be the same?

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