UFC President Dana White is not as strong of a believer in heavyweight star Francis Ngannou as he once was.
As seen in the co-main event of UFC 226 pay-per-view event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Derrick Lewis was able to pick up a unanimous decision win over the former title contender. Once this fight was made, the expectation was this fight would be exciting and someone getting knocked out in the first-round. Obviously, that didn’t happen and it was the worst fight on the card.
Ngannou was attempting to build off his latest lost coming into this fight. As seen at the UFC 220 PPV (pay-per-view) event at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on pay-per-view, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic successfully retained his title in the main event by scoring a dominant decision win over the title contender. Ngannou was gassed after the first round and lost in a lopsided fashion. Following the fight, Ngannou made it known that this fight was a major learning experience for him.
White went on record by stating in a recent interview that he isn’t sure if Ngannou will ever be the same fighter that he once was.
“Francis Ngannou at the time he was coming up, I believed this guy was going to be the guy, was going to be the heavyweight champion,” White said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast (transcript courtesy of MMAJunkie). “He lost his mind. This guy completely lost his mind and started to act – I don’t know – in a way you just don’t act. I completely saw it coming. Obviously, Francis Ngannou is a massive, strong, hard-hitting guy, and anything can happen when he gets in there, but Stipe had this thing where he feels completely disrespected. This guy’s always on fire and pissed off at the world and pissed off at us. I saw that coming. I knew he was going (to win).
“Francis Ngannou left the training center here (in Las Vegas) where he trained for previous fights, took off to France, was in France training or doing whatever he was doing leading up to the Stipe fight because he absolutely, positively knew he was going to be beat Stipe.”
“Ngannou has a lot – I don’t know – he has a lot of things he needs to fix personally and professionally,” White said. “We’ll see if he ever gets back on track again.”
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