Francis Ngannou has an opponent and date in mind for his return to the cage.
Saturday afternoon, the Cameroonian heavyweight, who sits at No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie heavyweight rankings, took to Twitter to issue a challenge to fellow contender Alexander Volkov, who checks in at No. 7.
According to the tweet, Ngannou (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) wants to fight Volkov (31-7 MMA, 5-1 UFC) on Jan. 18 at UFC 246 in Las Vegas.
Shortly after Ngannou’s tweet, Volkov countered with a an offer of his own. Volkov indicated he’d be happy to fight in Ngannou – in his own backyard.
Ngannou seemed open to the counter offer, telling the Russian fighter he’d be happy to fight him – anywhere, anytime.
This isn’t the first time Ngannou has called for a fight against Volkov. In an interview with MMA Junkie in early November, Ngannou claimed Volkov refused to fight him on multiple occasions.
“Just for the record, Volkov turned down the fight against me twice,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “One was July 2017 and August 2018. He clearly denied to fight me.”
Both Ngannou and Volkov are coming off of winning performances. Ngannou has won his last three fights, finishing Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, and Curtis Blaydes in a combined 142 seconds.
As for Volkov, he most recently competed at UFC on ESPN+ 21 on Nov. 9. After his originally scheduled opponent Junior Dos Santos fell off the card, Volkov was matched up with former NFL pro bowler Greg Hardy.
While Hardy was able to hang with the former Bellator champ Volkov for three rounds, the fight was largely one-sided. Volkov point-fought Hardy for the entire duration of the fight, picking him apart from the outside.
Immediately after the fight, Ngannou issued a public challenge on Twitter, much like the one on Saturday afternoon.
Will Ngannou vs. Volkov get booked for UFC 246?