UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou has named the 2 hardest warring parties of his 13-fight UFC occupation up to now.
Ngannou is these days making ready for a blockbuster unification showdown along with his former teammate and present period in-between titleholder Ciryl Gane. After the pair’s respective championship-winning performances in 2021, they’ll meet in the primary match of this weekend’s UFC 270 pay-per-view.
“The Predator” shall be driving a five-fight win streak into the outlet PPV headliner of 2022. Since back-to-back losses to Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis in 2018, Ngannou has been on a brutal and harmful tear. In a complete cage time of lower than 10 mins, he’s knocked out Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Miocic.
Given the choice of warring parties he’s slept with within the first or 2d spherical within the UFC, it’s understandably now not simple for the champion to talk about their abilities and threats. However, Ngannou believes there are two heavyweights that have compatibility with the invoice as his hardest opposition within the Octagon.
Ngannou: Miocic Used to be By means of Some distance My Hardest Opponent
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, the heavyweight king, as anticipated, given the identity of the hardest opponent to the consensus divisional GOAT Miocic. However, regardless of his most effective different defeat within the promotion coming in opposition to fellow KO artist Derrick Lewis, Ngannou in fact named Curtis Blaydes as his 2d hardest take a look at, regardless of getting the simpler of “Razor” two times.
“I didn’t have the risk to discover (lots of) them, how difficult they’re. [LAUGHS] Except for Stipe. He’s by means of some distance my hardest opponent. If I sought after to carry someone in, he’ll be Curtis Blaydes. My 2d combat within the UFC, and I used to be very stunned how he was once shifting for a wrestler and the way he was once ready to combine issues up. The ones had been my two hardest warring parties that I needed to enjoy.”
Ngannou first had his hand raised in opposition to Blaydes at UFC Struggle Evening 85 in 2016. After 10 mins of motion, the furthest “The Predator” has long passed right into a combat and received, the competition was once stopped previous to the 3rd body and went down as a TKO (physician stoppage) victory for the Cameroonian.
The second contest, a 2018 major match in Beijing, China, was once a lot much less aggressive. On that instance, Ngannou’s arms had been an excessive amount for Blaydes, getting the process executed after simply 45 seconds. However, Ngannou knew Blaydes’ talent for their first assembly.
“He was once beautiful excellent. He was once difficult. He was once ready to soak up punches. He was once shifting beautiful excellent for a wrestler, and he had a degree trade, like manner round a fighter.”
Whilst Blaydes’ inclusion would possibly come as a wonder, Miocic’s place within the best spot indisputably received’t. At UFC 220 in 2018, Ngannou challenged the Ohio local for the identity. However, after being managed and ruled for 25 mins, the powerhouse was once passed a unanimous resolution defeat.
Discussing his opening loss on MMA’s greatest degree, Ngannou mentioned he was underprepared and undertrained for the conflict. Merely put, he believes he underestimated the step-up in high quality he’d enjoy when going through a world-class champion.
“My first combat in opposition to Stipe I obviously underestimated him. I didn’t know the way difficult he was once. Clearly, I wasn’t able for that combat. Let’s simply be truthful. I wasn’t able to. It wasn’t time for me to combat for an identity as a result of even if I used to be the best contender, I used to be simply doing this for 5 years and been severely into it for simply two years. I didn’t perceive the rest within the game… I didn’t truly know the way to mainly get ready combat for that degree, for a world-class (fighter), for a championship. I am getting the entirety flawed in that combat.”
Ngannou obviously realized a factor or two about Miocic in 2018. 3 years later, he knocked the 39-year-old out to in spite of everything achieve the highest of the heavyweight mountain.
He’ll hope to stick there this weekend when he faces Gane, a technical and distinctive heavyweight whom many consider shall be within the hardest opposition dialog for Ngannou come January 22.
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