O'Neal and Francis Ngannou share a good rapport and have been spotted hanging out together a few times. After Ngannou finally realized his dream of becoming heavyweight champ, O'Neal took to Twitter to celebrate the former's success.
"Congrats to @francis_ngannou the NEW Heavyweight Champion of the World," tweeted O'Neal.
Ngannou's freakish power is on full display every time he steps inside the Octagon, but there was one occasion when he used his power on O'Neal. Ngannou was seen lifting one of the tallest and heaviest NBA players of all time in Shaquille O'Neal.
O'Neal's 7-foot-1-inch tall, 325-pound frame might be intimidating to most people but not to Francis Ngannou, who comfortably lifted him and claimed he wasn't that heavy.
He also said that O'Neal must have very little body fat because he manages to 'fly' on the basketball court even with such a massive frame.
"@Shaq you're not so heavy as I thought. That's probably why you could fly on the court," said Ngannou after his interaction with O'Neal.
What's next for Francis Ngannou?
At UFC 260, Francis Ngannou got another shot at redemption against the man who stopped him from becoming champion the first time around. This time though, there was no stopping The Predator. He looked much sharper and calmer than he did in the first fight against Stipe Miocic.
Instead of rushing in, Francis Ngannou picked his shots, performed well from the clinch, staying aware of the takedown attempts, and defended them well before finally finishing the fight violently in the second round.
Even on the ground, Ngannou looked superior to his counterpart, landing some hard shots after taking Miocic's back.
Francis Ngannou has had to struggle a lot to get where he is today and it won't be easy for any man in the heavyweight division to take the title from him. Who will he defend his title against, though?
Is former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones the man who could possibly give Ngannou the toughest fight in the division at the moment?
Even Derrick Lewis is waiting for his title shot. He has beaten Ngannou in the past and will look to do it again if the pair lock horns inside the Octagon.