The Rock is no stranger to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. He has regularly attended big UFC events and most recently was present at UFC 244. He was seated cageside to present the BMF belt to Jorge Masvidal after he stopped Nate Diaz at UFC 244.
The Rock recently went live on Instagram for a Q/A session. He was taking questions from fans including UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou.
During the session, Ngannou said that Rock was an inspiration for him and offered to train together with him.
“Francis Ngannou, let me tell you something, brother – you ain’t ready for me,” Johnson jokingly said. “I respect and love this guy so much. He is one of the top heavyweights in MMA, and in the world, and he is a dominant beast of a man. I can’t wait to see him fight again.”
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) April 13, 2020
“I’ve been following your career, Francis, so thank you for saying that, saying that I was your inspiration,” he said. “I wish you nothing but the best. I hear really cool things about you, and I look forward to seeing you and seeing you fight again.”
The Rock can’t wait for the UFC to return
Like other major sports organisations, UFC also had to postpone its events amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. UFC planned to begin operations from April 18 after they had to cancel three fight cards. But the top brass at ESPN and Disney told Dana White to stand down. This situation has been tricky for fighters, who only get paid if they fight. So amidst the cancellation, it’s highly unlikely that the fighters would get paid.
The Rock who had his own share of struggles early in his career sympathizes with the fighters and the situation they are currently in.
“To all the fighters in the UFC, MMA, and around the world – specifically the UFC because I’ve been really following them closely, Dana White and I are very good buddies – I feel for you guys not being able to fight,” Johnson stated. “But soon enough, there’s a silver lining in this.
“Maybe it’s your training, maybe it’s your mental capacity that you could expand right now as you guys aren’t allowed in the cage as you’ve been shut down, but there is some silver lining in all of this and I hope you guys find it. Because when you come back, the velocity in which you guys come back, I expect to see some dynamite fights when you come back in the cage and I can’t wait. The moment I can be there, I’m going to be there cage side.” (H/T – MMAFighting.com)