Just like his quick rise to the top, it didn’t take much time for #4 ranked heavyweight Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou from being a title challenger to having his back against the wall.
Ngannou (11-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) raced his way upto the top with six consecutive finishes to face then champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January. Ngannou was ragdolled by Miocic was five rounds handing him a unanimous decision loss.
Ngannou was then scheduled to take on a dangerous Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis at UFC 226 last month. Ngannou and Lewis were meant to fight, however the bout was turned into a confusing fight deserted of punches. Lewis who stimulated his old back injury, didn’t have much options however Ngannou in his own words didn’t ‘pull the trigger’.
UFC President Dana White made strong critique of Ngannou claiming his ego got the better of him. After a month, White’s views haven’t changed much.
“Francis Ngannou at the time he was coming up, I believed this guy was going to be the guy, was going to be the heavyweight champion,” White said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. “He lost his mind. This guy completely lost his mind and started to act – I don’t know – in a way you just don’t act. I completely saw it coming. Obviously Francis Ngannou is a massive, strong, hard-hitting guy, and anything can happen when he gets in there, but Stipe had this thing where he feels completely disrespected. This guy’s always on fire and pissed off at the world and pissed off at us. I saw that coming. I knew he was going (to win).”
“Ngannou has a lot – I don’t know – he has a lot of things he needs to fix personally and professionally,” White said. “We’ll see if he ever gets back on track again.”