UFC heavyweight champion Francis Nganou has admitted it is a “great honour” to be compared to boxing legend Mike Tyson.
During his six-year stint in the UFC, the Cameroonian has garnered a fierce reputation as one of the fighting games’ most vicious knockout performers.
Ngannou’s brutality inside the cage has recently seen him acquire the same sinister aura that Tyson did in the late 1980s and early ’90s.
And having his name mentioned in the same breath as a major Tyson is a source of great pride for ‘The Predator’.
The 34-year-old told SunSport this week: “Well, it’s such a great honor.
“It’s honorable that at this point they compare me to Mike Tyson.”
Although he is fascinated by comparisons to Iron Mike—whom he holds in the highest regard—Nganou doesn’t plan to rest on his laurels.
He added: “I wouldn’t say that’s my ultimate goal, but it’s something big because Mike Tyson is my greatest fighter, [greatest] Boxer of all time. I get to see Mike Tyson all day long.”
Latest in Sun Bingo and Vegas
That being said, the former refugee is still over the moon that his name is mentioned in the same breath as the ex-disputed heavyweight champion.
He said with a shrill smile on his face: “So to be at that point [in my career]That’s great, man. It’s just a good thing.”
Ngannou loved boxing before his now former coach Fernand López – who will be up against him this weekend – urged him to try his hand at mixed martial arts.
The UFC’s first African-born heavyweight champion still has ambitions to enter the square circle and has made his way to a blockbuster showdown with Tyson Fury.
And he believes a big-money fight with the Gypsy King will be a success after making his first defense of the title this weekend.
When asked how confident he is about the fight with the WBC Heavyweight Champion being a success, he replied: “Out of ten?
“Let’s say eight. Why not nine? Just to be conservative.”
Before Ngannou can even think of a venture into the world of boxing, he must first get through his UFC 270 heavyweight title unification bout with former team-mate and sparring partner Cyril Gain.
The pair know each other well enough to have trained together at the MMA Factory in Paris, but Gaine insists that they are much ‘better’ than they were from their days as training partners.
Bon Gamin told SunSport: “I think this time we have improved 100 percent.
“We’ve improved a lot – on my part and on his part.
“At the moment, the feeling was, ‘I was really lucky’ because I had just started in MMA and I could play with a guy who was already in the top five.”
“So I think today, it’s going to be a little different. But it’s helped me gain a little more confidence.”
Free bets: Receive over £2,000 in new customer deals