Don’t expect Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou to be chummy after UFC 226.
Lewis and Ngannou are set to collide at UFC 226 on July 7. It’s a heavyweight grudge match that is highly anticipated. Both men are known for their punching power and have a combined 24 career knockouts.
There’s a bit of a rivalry brewing between “The Black Beast” and “The Predator.” Before receiving his UFC heavyweight title shot, Ngannou said he didn’t see anything special in Lewis’ game. Lewis responded by calling Ngannou an “African booty scratcher.”
The two exchanged challenges on social media and the fight was later made official. Speaking to MMAJunkie.com, Lewis explained why he won’t embrace Ngannou once their bout has finished:
“I’m just going in there like he’s anybody else. When the fight is over with, I’m not going to be shaking his hand and all that. To me, whenever a fighter tries to talk sh*t to me before a fight then shakes your hand afterward – nah. I’m not going to do all that. I’m still going to have that little grudge toward him. I’m not trying to be his friend after. I’m happy to get it over with. The fans, they wanted this fight for a long time. Might as well give them what they ask for.”
Lewis recently rebounded from a TKO loss to Mark Hunt. He stopped Marcin Tybura in the third round back in February. Lewis has now won seven of his last eight bouts.
Ngannou will be no easy task as his only loss under the UFC banner was to reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. “The Predator” had been riding a 10-fight winning streak. While Miocic was able to win the bout with takedowns, the threat of wrestling hasn’t been there with Lewis.
Can Derrick Lewis pull off a win over Francis Ngannou?