Derrick Lewis has been quite vocal about his desire to fight Francis Ngannou. However, the UFC management had been unwilling to let two relatively up-and-oming heavyweight square off against each other. Though, he has now been granted his wish as he is scheduled to finally fight Ngannou at UFC 226 in July. Lewis has also been quite a vocal critic of “The Predator”, he has now claimed that Ngannou’s rise has only been due to him fighting old, washed-up veterans with a weak chin.
Ngannou recently made an appearance on The MMA Hour. Here’s what he told host Ariel Helwani about Ngannou:
It is crazy. I felt the same way when I fought ‘Big Country’ [Roy Nelson], because seeing ‘Big Country’ fight everybody, knock everybody out — then it’s like a dream come true whenever I finally fought him. It’s going to feel almost the same way fighting Francis. A guy like him beating everybody, knocking everybody out, then finally facing him — I just live for that type of rush, that thrill, because I don’t call anybody out that I know I could easily beat.
I like to fight tough fights. I believe the tough fights bring out the better fighter in myself.
Beating on Francis is really not going to really do too much for me anyway, because the guy got to where he’s at right now on luck, he fought Overeem — Overeem doesn’t have a chin. He fought Arlovski — Arlovski doesn’t have a chin. Fight somebody that’s tough. Fight a Mark Hunt, somebody like that who’s real tough. Don’t fight these old guys who are already on the downside of their career.
I already told them don’t even worry about it then, give me Fabricio (Werdum), since I owe Fabricio an ass-whooping anyway, this is way better.
Even though we’re going to sell pay-per-views, we’re not going to get a piece of the pie at all, so that’s what I don’t like about it, I think they’re giving Francis a piece of the pie. I believe so, because there’s got to be a negotiation reason why he didn’t respond to the contract that they tried to give him to fight me.