Cameroonian heavyweight Alain Ngalani will enter the largest combat of his MMA profession when he faces Vitor Belfort within the ONE Championship cage, however wouldn’t shrink back from buying and selling arms and kicks with a compatriot.
Ngalani made the transition from kickboxing to MMA in 2013 after signing with the Asian promotion, racking up a 4-5 document with one no-contest within the sport. He would nonetheless be too distant from Francis Ngannou, the odd man out within the UFC’s heavyweight title image, even in an unlikely state of affairs the place each corporations co-promoted.
“The Panther”, nonetheless, could be down for a problem even with all the good issues he has to say a couple of Cameroonian “brother.”
“He’s my brother, he’s an excellent fighter, he’s very aggressive, and he goes in there and does his factor,” Ngalani informed MMA Preventing. “And it’s been working for him, go in there and simply brawl and simply swing heavy punches and knocking out guys. I like him for that. He’s doing an superior job. Implausible athlete, pure and unbelievable.”
Ngalani believes his success reveals that in all Africa, particularly in Cameroon, “we now have expertise” to compete in opposition to the perfect on this planet. Might Ngannou avenge his final loss and dethrone Stipe Miocic, or possibly cease former champion Daniel Cormier for an interim title? Ngalani has no doubts.
“There is no such thing as a denying that Francis Ngannou will get that title shot and get that belt, a technique or one other,” Ngalani stated. “He’s nonetheless younger, he nonetheless has time, he’s doing his factor and it’s working for him. I’m very pleased with him and I do know he’s gonna get it’s only a matter of time. It’s difficult, however a combat is a combat and something can occur.”
The UFC presently has a pair of African champions in Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman, however successful the heavyweight belt could be even larger for the way forward for the game within the continent.
“It could be big for Cameroon, for Africa typically,” Ngalani stated. “For him to win the title, it might be big. It could be unprecedented in MMA in Cameroon, a heavyweight UFC fighter from Africa, it might be unprecedented. We have already got a number of African athletes with the belt, like Adesanya and (Usman), however they aren’t heavyweights. At heavyweight, he could be the primary, and that will be superior.”
Ngalani admits he usually receives messages from followers asking if he may combat Ngannou in the future due to their Cameroon roots.
“For now, he’s my brother,” he responds. “I don’t assume so, however, , folks like to invest, so allow them to speculate. He’s my brother and he’s doing his factor. If we ever should step in a cage I’m an athlete, I’m a fighter, I’ll step in a cage with a lion if I’ve to. Doesn’t matter, ? That’s what we do. We’ve been doing this for years.”
When requested how he would fare in opposition to probably the most harmful fighters in immediately’s MMA, “The Panther” refereed for one of many greatest upsets in kickboxing historical past for instance.
“You recognize, it reminds a little bit of the combat I had with Bob Sapp,” Ngalani stated of the kickboxing match he gained in 2009. “After I fought Bob Sapp, Bob Sapp was on high of his recreation, he knocked out Ernesto Hoost. Bob Sapp was twice my dimension. I used to be 100kg (220 kilos) and he was 175kg (386 kilos) after I fought him. He was nearly too meters (6’5”), he was an enormous man. Everybody was like, ‘If he touches you, you’re out. If he touches you, you’re out.’ To combat Bob Sapp I needed to be very good. Very quick, very environment friendly and really technical, and I gained. So something is feasible, you need to work your your technique.
“You don’t go in opposition to… I noticed the Bob Sapp-Ernesto Hoost combat, Ernesto Hoost was my all-time favourite, he was the multiple-time world champion and the champ on the time. Nobody gave (Sapp) an opportunity in opposition to Ernesto Hoost, however Bob Sapp knocked out Ernesto Hoost out not as soon as, however twice. So, , it was unbelievable when that occurred. However you don’t go in opposition to somebody who’s like a brawler and attempt to brawl with him. You need to adapt after which change your recreation. It’s the good factor to do. Be good and adapt, and alter technique.”