Retired two-division simultaneous champion Daniel Cormier recently said on his MMA podcast DC & Helwani that while it may be beneficial for Stipe Miocic to put on a bit of extra weight against Ngannou, ultimately it may not be enough to defeat the newly crowned heavyweight champion from Cameroon. Ngannou is currently on a five-fight winning streak, all of those wins coming by knockout.
“I think you gotta be heavy to fight Francis Ngannou,” Cormier said on his “DC & Helwani” ESPN show. “Because Francis is so big and strong, and Stipe may believe that in that situation where Francis sprawled on him and took him down, maybe he sucks a leg in, maybe he can pull it in if he is a little bit stronger. I don’t know if that is necessarily going to equate to that, but I believe that that’s a good first step.”
Miocic suffered a crushing round-2 KO loss to Ngannou back in March at UFC 260, ultimately losing his UFC heavyweight belt. In the fight, Miocic (234 pounds) was considerably lighter than Ngannou (263 pounds), and it showed in the fight as Miocic was unable to takedown the heavier man. Ngannou sprawled on Miocic’s takedown attempt and proceeded to land heavy blows on the Cleveland native.
After the loss, Miocic admitted to weighing in too light against Ngannou on a recent interview on “The Pat McAfee Show”. Coming in light against Cormier in their rematch and their final trilogy bout worked wonders for the former two-time UFC heavyweight champion as Miocic was able to get the better of Cormier. However against Ngannou, as we’ve seen, it was a different story. Nevertheless, Cormier isn’t convinced that the result for a third Miocic/Ngannou fight would be different from the rematch, even if Miocic was to add much more weight.
“I thought he was way too small going into there the last time,” Cormier said. “I even asked him about it in the fighter meeting. I’m like, ‘Man, do you think maybe you should get a little bigger?’ He’s like, ‘I only lost weight because I’m training so hard. It wasn’t to be faster,’ this, that and the other. I think it is a great idea by Miocic. Does it change anything in a rematch? I am not certain. … Great idea by Miocic, you gotta change something if you want a different result. I am just not certain if it is enough because of Ngannou’s ability to knock him out.”
Francis Ngannou is expected to face Derrick Lewis in his first title defense this summer in what would be a rematch after their last fight ended in a unanimous decision win for Lewis at UFC 226 back in July 2018.
Do you believe a bulked-up Stipe Miocic has what it takes to defeat Francis Ngannou and wrestle the UFC heavyweight belt back?