Former UFC Middleweight Wants to Bare-Knuckle Box Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou

Getty Francis Ngannou

Former UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher is now a heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer, and he wants to test himself against Francis Ngannou.

Ngannou is the last man to hold the UFC’s undisputed heavyweight championship. And he vacated the belt earlier this year to become one of combat sport’s most high-profile free agents. “The Predator” has yet to sign with a promotion, and if it was up to Belcher, Ngannou would come to a deal with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

“I’m 100 percent interested in that,” Belcher said about fighting Ngannou during a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I want to fight the best in the world, and Francis Ngannou checks that box. It’s the attention and the publicity and the money that fighters want. I think this is what the fans want to see.

“In my last couple of years, I’ve set out to be a knockout artist. In my first fight [in BKFC], I went to a decision. I was just kind of feeling it out. But after that I really went to work, and now that I’ve got my feet wet, I’ve got my confidence, and what I’ve been working on is really figuring out the science of how to end the fight with the hands really quickly, and if it doesn’t happen very quickly, making sure that I’m winning every, single round by continuing to search for the knockout. A lot of coaches have even told me in the past not to try and knock someone out, and that’s my whole intention now. When I come to fight you, I’m coming to knock you out.”

Belcher is looking to become a champion in his own right. He’ll battle Arnold Adams for the heavyweight strap at BKFC 36 on Friday night.

Belcher Is 3-0 in BKFC Since Making His Combat Sports Return as a Heavyweight

Belcher hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since April 2013, compiling a record of 18-8. He made his bare-knuckle boxing debut in 2021 for BKFC, and he’s rattled off three victories in a row.

“The Talent” scored back-to-back first-round knockouts in his last two outings, besting Frank Tate in June 2022 and Bobo O’Bannon in January 2022. Belcher will be tasked with his toughest bare-knuckle test on February 24 when he battles Arnold — the promotion’s reigning heavyweight king. Arnold is 7-1 as a BKFC athlete, which includes his recent four-fight win streak.

Belcher’s Is Eyeing His First-Ever Championship in Combat Sports

For Belcher, this will be an opportunity for him to capture his first championship in combat sports.

This would be my first world championship,” Belcher said to MMA Fighting. “So I’m taking it very seriously. This is part of my life’s work. Part of my business. Part of my legacy. Winning to me just means that I’m progressing.

“Winning this fight just means that everything, all the lessons I’ve learned in my life and my career and the last couple of years of getting back into the sport and learning and growing, winning this fight just means that I’m very conscious and aware that I did things right and I didn’t get in my own way.”

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