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"I would still take you" - NBA star Joel Embiid jokingly claims he'd beat Francis Ngannou after UFC 260

Francis Ngannou and Joel Embiid share Cameroonian roots
Francis Ngannou and Joel Embiid share Cameroonian roots
Tarun Bhatt
Modified 28 Mar 2021

Francis Ngannou is receiving heaps of praise following his stellar knockout victory over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.

NBA star Joel Embiid made a light-hearted remark about Francis Ngannou's devastating knockout victory tonight. Embiid shares his roots with Ngannou as both athletes hail from the Republic of Cameroon.

"I would still take you," tweeted Joel Embiid, referring to a 2018 interaction with Francis Ngannou.

After the UFC 260 victory, the Cameroonian has become the undisputed heavyweight champion. Joel Embiid congratulated 'The Predator' on achieving the massive feat.

Ngannou became the third African UFC champion alongside Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya.

Francis Ngannou first met Joel Embiid in the lead-up to UFC 220. Ngannou was visiting the Equinox Sports Club in Boston, Massachusetts, ahead of his first fight with Stipe Miocic. The brief encounter was captured in the 5th episode of UFC's Embedded series for UFC 220.


Joel Embiid is 7 feet tall, almost 7 inches taller than the scariest puncher on the UFC roster. Upon meeting the Phiiladelphia 76er power forward, Francis Ngannou said he wanted to fight the NBA giant. To this, Embiid jokingly replied by saying he could take it to Francis Ngannou in a fight.

Joel Embiid prophesied a second round KO victory for Francis Ngannou against Stipe Miocic

When asked for a prediction for the UFC 220 headliner, Joel Embiid forecast a second-round KO win for Francis Ngannou. Embiid's prediction must have been based on the numerous walk-off KO's on Francis Ngannou's resume.

"Probably by KO. Knock somebody out... I'll say the second round," said Joel Embiid.
"That's a good prediction. I'm [also] on that two round prediction," replied Francis Ngannou.

Things did not go as planned for Ngannou in the first pay-per-view clash with Miocic at UFC 220. The Ohio native took a grappling approach to out-wrestle Ngannou. As the rounds proceeded further, Ngannou seemed to gas out and had no response to the relentless wrestling pressure.

Francis Ngannou learned his lesson from UFC 220 and came in with a much more stoic demeanor at UFC 260. With an intact gameplan, 'The Predator' threw heavy shots at Stipe Miocic and finished the fight in the second round, proving Joel Embiid's predictions correct.

Published 28 Mar 2021, 12:04 IST
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