On the antepenultimate bout of the UFC 226 fight card, former title challenger Francis Ngannou returns to take on #5 ranked heavyweight Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis.
Ngannou last fought champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January. Miocic came in with a plan of using wrestling to wear out Ngannou and he executed it to utmost intelligence. Champ Miocic battered Ngannou for five rounds winning the fight via unanimous decision. However Ngannou believes he has learned a lot from his first step into deep waters.
“I collected a lot of experience and I learned a lot from that fight,” Ngannou told Helen Yee recently. “This is something that would have happened anyway someday because my rise was very fast, so I jumped a lot of things. I didn’t discover somethings that would catch me later. At some point I can even say it’s the best thing that happened because if it didn’t happen in that fight, it might happen in the future. Now it happened this time. We take it, we learn it, we stand up, we move forward. That’s how life is.”
Ngannou truly believes he can get the job done against Lewis at UFC 226.
“What advantages do you think I have over Derrick Lewis? All of them,” Ngannou said. “Of what you can imagine, I think I have all that over him. He said I knocked [Andrei] Arlovski out because he’s old — he was 37. Mark Hunt was 43 when he beat [Derrick Lewis]. Hunt made him quit. I think [Lewis] just doesn’t know what he’s saying.”
“I would just get my conditioning on point. What I’ve got already will be okay.”