Francis Ngannou Frustrated Waiting For Title Rematch With Stipe Miocic
Despite being next in line to fight Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight championship, Francis Ngannou is frustrated with his lack of action inside the UFC Octagon.
Since Ngannou lost his title fight against Miocic at UFC 220 almost three years ago, the UFC heavyweight division has only seen three title fights. All of which saw the current champion fight Daniel Cormier. The first of which took place at UFC 226 in July 2018, won by Cormier via first-round KO; the second at UFC 241 in August 2019, won by Miocic via fourth-round TKO; and the trilogy at UFC 252 this past August, won by Miocic via unanimous decision.
During the same period, ‘The Predator’ has competed five times, with four wins, and coming by way of first-round finishes. Two of Ngannou’s victims were former champions, Cain Velasquez, and Junior dos Santos. Despite him earning his title shot, the wait is clearly frustrating the 34 year old.
“I’m in my prime age and I’m wasting time without fighting, so it’s kind of frustrating,” Ngannou said. “We have to get something to motivate us. We have to make money. We have to do something for fighting. Sometimes when you wake up, it’s really hard to go to the gym and train because you need that motivation. Like, ‘OK, I’m training, but for what? When will I fight?’ I don’t know. So you have no clue about anything and it’s tough to find motivation.”
Lack Of Title Defences
Ngannou not only bemoaned his lack of action inside the Octagon but also complained about the lack of title fights in his division, saying that one title defence a year puts contenders in a complicated spot.
“If things were moving on, this wouldn’t be an issue,” Ngannou said. “Many divisions have three or four title defences a year. We’re talking about a division where there’s been one title defence a year, so it gives a lot of complicated positions for contenders. And then they get lined up and lined up, but no one really moves.
“I think if there would be three, four title defences a year, everybody would fight for the title. It’s never over the limited amount of title defences that have to be set – it just needs to keep on going. What they should do is find a way to make the heavyweight division move on again because right now, it’s stuck.”
Much has been made about Anthony Johnson’s return to the Octagon, and while ‘Rumble’ wants to return as a light heavyweight, a move up in weight to fight Ngannou can’t be ruled out either. While the former title challenger waits for a rematch with reigning champion Miocic, if a fight with Johnson came his way, the Cameroonian born Frenchman says he will be ready to rumble.
“Yeah, I would be very interested in that fight,” Ngannou said. “’Rumble’ Johnson is a guy that I respect a lot. I know him as a person and I admire him as a person. It would be great to share the Octagon with him, no matter if it’s for the title or not.
“Even beyond ‘Rumble’ Johnson I still have some dreams and some aspirations. But I have [to] stay focused and realistic and deal with the situation right now. Obviously, that question has popped up before, and I would be down for that fight. It would such a great fight, and it would be such an honour to fight ‘Rumble’ Johnson.”
Anthony Johnson returned to the USADA testing pool in September, where he will need to spend six months before he can fight again.
Do you agree with Francis Ngannou’s comments on the situation in the UFC heavyweight division?