Malik Scott never wanted it to take place. Why should a flat-out novice in the sport of boxing be allowed to fight the heavyweight champion of the world in his pro debut? It wasn’t fair. But Scott understood the business side of things.

Francis Ngannou was one of the UFC’s most recognizable names and possibly their most dangerous fighter. After finally parting ways, the hulking former champ immured himself in a room with Tyson Fury and refused to let him leave until a deal came to fruition.

In relatively short order, the pair agreed to get it on. This past Saturday night, the mixed martial arts and boxing worlds collided. From the outside looking in, Ngannou was given no shot. Even Scott, who does his best to be optimistic in the most bleak of situations, didn’t see a pathway for Ngannou that would lead him to victory.

Once the opening bell rang, a perceived mismatch turned into a back-and-forth battle. Scott sat up in his chair as Ngannou floored his man with a check left hook in the second. With Fury forced to go far deeper in his bag of tricks than usual, Scott, the current head trainer of Deontay Wilder, was impressed with what he saw. So much so that he revealed that Ngannou is officially on Wilder’s hit list.

“He’s an option now,” Scott told

Wilder, the former WBC heavyweight champ, could desperately use a few rust-breaking fights. Although he technically did sneak in a bout at the tail end of 2022, considering that he stopped Robert Helenius with just one punch in the opening round, Wilder hasn’t been in the ring much lately.

Ngannou, by and large, is having his praises sung. From Mike Tyson to Roberto Duran, the superlatives being used to describe him are endless.

Ultimately, the mixed martial arts star is enjoying the newfound respect he’s garnered from his peers. Scott, like everyone else, is applauding the former UFC champ loudly. The next steps for him are ambiguous. Ngannou will undoubtedly seek rest prior to deciding if he wants to dive back into mixed martial arts or continue with his blooming boxing career. Scott, for what it’s worth, is doing his best to lure Ngannou into the ring with his fighter, even before he’s gotten a chance to sit down and soak it all in.

“We’re already in communications about it.”