Francis Ngannou has been fielding offers from different MMA promotions for a while but now Khamzat Chimaev has challenged him to a grappling match. It’s definitely one of the more unusual offers he’s received since parting ways with the UFC and choosing to test the waters of free agency, but it’s not entirely outside the realms of possibility. Stranger things have happened in the world of professional MMA and plenty of the best fighters on the planet have decided to try their hand at grappling once in a while.
While Ngannou has a significant weight advantage over Chimaev as the former UFC heavyweight world champion, it’s worth remembering that he’s also years behind him in terms of skill and experience in grappling. Chimaev has floated between either welterweight and middleweight during his professional MMA career, but he’s been known for his phenomenal grappling during his career. Ngannou on the other hand is a striker first and foremost who has become known for his incredible power rather than his technical ability in either wrestling or Jiu-Jitsu.
While Chimaev only has a few years of Jiu-Jitsu under his belt, he’s already been promoted to purple belt in the sport. It helps that he has a huge amount of freestyle wrestling experience of course and his grappling style leans heavily on his skill level in that aspect of grappling. Khamzat Chimaev even recently competed in a freestyle wrestling match against Jack Hermansson and dominated the match from start to finish, so it’s not hard to imagine him doing the same to an inexperienced wrestler like Khamzat Chimaev if the two did meet in a professional grappling match. If any big promotions with money to spend are taking notice, this is the kind of match that could easily draw a ton of attention to an upcoming event.
Khamzat Chimaev challenged Francis Ngannou to a grappling match in a tweet from his official Twitter account:
Let’s make grappling match @francis_ngannou 🤝✊🏼
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) May 5, 2023