Sunday, March 7, 2021

Francis Ngannou: UFC Must Get HW Division Moving Again

Francis Ngannou’s frustration with the UFC’s heavyweight division continues to build as the division remains stagnant.

Ever since UFC 230, an event which saw Daniel Cormier defend his heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis on short notice, the heavyweight division has been moving at a snail’s pace, with only two title fights between November 2018 and today. Meanwhile, Francis Ngannou has been steamrolling through the competition to solidify himself as the unquestioned #1 contender.  

Francis Ngannou has been vocal about his frustration about the pace at which the top of the division has been moving, at one point even wanting to fight out his UFC contract and become a free agent. Ngannou is next in line for a title shot, but this has not alleviated his frustration one bit, as he feels that he could be putting the best years of his athletic career to much better use.

“I’m in a position which is very complicated,” Ngannou told Morning Kombat. “I’m in my prime age and I’m wasting time without fighting, so it’s kind of frustrating.

“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.”

Francis Ngannou last competed in May of 2020 in a 20-second KO of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Following that bout, Stipe Miocic successfully defended his heavyweight championship against Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 in August. This was the only world title fight of 2020, the same number of title fights as 2019, which Ngannou finds unacceptable and believes that the UFC needs to come up with solutions.

“We’re talking about a division where there’s been one title defense a year, so it gives a lot of complicated positions for contenders,” Ngannou said. “And then they get lined up and lined up, but no one really moves.

“I think if there would be three, four title defenses a year, everybody would fight for the title. It’s never over the limited amount of title defenses 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.”

Dana White has confirmed that Francis Ngannou is next in line to challenge champion Stipe Miocic, with March being the rumored month for the bout to take place.

Do you agree with Francis Ngannou? Does something need to be done about the slow rate of title fights in the UFC’s heavyweight division?