Could Francis Ngannou Become Heavyweight Champion?

2016 was an epic year for the UFC and fans are hoping for more of the same in 2017.

By Kyler Kuehler

Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou is making a name for himself as he made his UFC debut in December of 2015 at UFC on Fox 17 when he knocked out his opponent Luis Henrique in Round two and has continued to finish all of his ten victories via either knockout or submission.

Now that he has just finished a big name and former Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski in the first round at UFC on Fox 23 he seems to be on the road to a future title shot and one can only ask themselves if he really has a chance to become champion.

Well, he is trained significantly in boxing so that is a big plus on his side as heavyweight contenders are known to be some of the heaviest and deadliest strikers in the sport of mixed martial arts. With that in mind and the fact he has won six of his ten victories via knockout has already begun to catch the attention of the UFC and the heavyweight division as he has made it clear that he is no joke and is indeed coming for the gold.

Okay, we know his striking is great, but what about his grappling, is it as great as his striking because it takes much more than heavy hands to become the champion in this sport. From his record he owns four submission wins with moves of the armbar, arm-triangle choke, standing guillotine choke, and kimura already proving he in equipped with several grappling techniques proving already he is dangerous on both his feet and the ground.

Now his chances of becoming the champion someday are looking good, but before we will fully know if he stands a chance in a title fight I believe it would be best for him to face top fighters in the division that could ultimately test his skills to the fullest.

Fighters like Derrick Lewis, Mark Hunt, Ben Rothwell, Junior dos Santos or Alistair Overeem that all have great striking with grappling that could possibly be his next step into getting the title shot he deserves if he walked away from any of these fights successful.

I believe Dana White and the rest of the UFC board should give him one of these opponents next to have the opportunity to show he is indeed a future champion that is here to make a great impact upon the sport.