According to former Two-division champion Daniel Cormier, if Francis Ngannou could somehow dethrone the reigning champion Stipe Miocic, we could all be looking at the next global superstar.
Miocic and Ngannou first fought at UFC 220 on Jan. 20, 2018, in Boston. The defending champion used his wrestling to snuff out the explosive offense of Ngannou and take a commanding decision to win. He then lost a listless decision to Derrick Lewis in his next outing but has since rebounded with four straight first-round KOs, none of which took longer than 71 seconds.
In 2020, Miocic defended his title just once, closing out his trilogy with Daniel Cormier by winning a unanimous decision to take two out of the three fights in the series. He has successfully defended the heavyweight title four times across two reigns.
Daniel Cormier believes Francis Ngannou could be a big star
Ahead of the rematch, Francis switched camps and thus believes he has a much better chance of beating Miocic this time around. If he does, Cormier believes he would become as big of a star as Brock Lesnar was.
DC believes Francis Ngannou is on the cusp of "global superstardom" not seen since Brock Lesnar was heavyweight champ 🌍 #UFC260
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 23, 2021
“Brock Lesnar was the last (heavyweight champion) that truly captured the imagination of the entire sports world, a guy that everybody just wanted to see,” Cormier said of Francis Ngannou on DC & Helwani. “With Francis’ fighting style, if he can become the champ, everybody is gonna tune in because he’s so massive.”
Not only would Francis Ngannou be a massive star if he became the champ, but Cormier believes Ngannou would be a global superstar if he then goes out and beats Jon Jones next.
“I believe that Francis Ngannou is standing at the doorstep of just global superstardom, and man, it’s so intriguing,” Cormier said. “Could you imagine if Francis wins against Stipe and then Francis fights Jon Jones and wins, what type of star this man would be?”
It seems like learning from the first outing Francis had already been preparing his takedown defense but added another wrinkle to his camp. Not only has been working at Xtreme Couture but recently Kamaru Usman came out to work with him and will corner him at UFC 260.
“Yeah, so Kamaru Usman’s gonna be in my corner for this fight. So it’s good having him here, helping me out for the fight, by this time you need everything,” Ngannou said on his Fight Camp vlog. “He is gonna be in my corner and it’s good for him to train where I am and to bring his asset into the game. This is a very decisive moment leading up to the fight so it is very important to engage with him. He’s gonna be in my corner helping me with my wrestling, which is great. So yeah, it’s good.”
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