'I think I'd kick his a**' - When Francis Ngannou met an NBA giant who was almost a foot taller than him

Joel Embiid (left); Francis Ngannou (right)
Joel Embiid (left); Francis Ngannou (right)
Johny Payne
Modified 28 Mar 2021

Prior to his first fight against Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou met fellow Cameroonian sports superstar and NBA player Joel Embiid. Ngannou visited the Equinox Sports Club in Boston, Massachusetts, where he met Embiid.

The lighthearted conversation between Francis Ngannou and Joel Embiid – both of whom proudly represent their native Cameroon – was featured on episode 5 of the UFC 220: Embedded vlog. Fans can watch their meeting in the video below:

The UFC 220 (January 20th, 2018) event was set to take place in Boston, Massachusetts, which is why Francis Ngannou was in Boston at the time. Ngannou made his way into the Equinox Sports Club and proceeded to meet Joel Embiid.

The meeting witnessed the 6’4” tall Francis Ngannou joking about how the 7’0” tall NBA star Joel Embiid ought to be his next opponent. Embiid then jestingly suggested that he would defeat Ngannou if they were to fight.

It started off with Joel Embiid and Francis Ngannou greeting one another. They then engaged in a respectful and lighthearted conversation, a few excerpts of which have been noted below:

Joel Embiid: You live in Boston?
Francis Ngannou: No, I live in Las Vegas.
Embiid: Oh, Las Vegas.
Ngannou: Yeah, I’ve been there for nine months.
Embiid: You’re here in Boston for the fight?
Ngannou: Yeah, this Saturday I will fight for the UFC heavyweight belt.
Embiid: Oh, cool. Good luck.
Ngannou: Thank you...He should be my next opponent. I never fought someone taller than me.
Embiid: I think I’d kick his a**. I think I’d kick his a**. I’m pretty big too.
Ngannou: Really?
Embiid: I don’t think so. I don’t think so.

Furthermore, Joel Embiid predicted that Francis Ngannou would win his UFC 220 fight by KO in the second round. Regardless, the UFC 220 heavyweight title matchup saw Stipe Miocic successfully defend his title by defeating Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision.

Francis Ngannou looks to avenge his loss to Stipe Miocic and win UFC gold

Stipe Miocic (left) and Francis Ngannou (right) at UFC 220
Stipe Miocic (left) and Francis Ngannou (right) at UFC 220

UFC 260 will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between current champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou. As of this writing, the MMA world is just hours away from the Miocic vs. Ngannou rematch, one of the most highly anticipated fights of the 2021 calendar year.


Francis Ngannou not only aims to exact revenge for his previous loss against Stipe Miocic, but he also has his sights set on winning the UFC heavyweight title by dethroning Miocic. The winner of this fight will defend the UFC heavyweight title against Jon Jones. MMA legend Jones will be making his heavyweight debut later this year and face the winner of the Miocic vs. Ngannou matchup.

Published 28 Mar 2021, 05:57 IST
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