Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Francis Ngannou Says UFC Hasn’t Confirmed ‘Obvious’ Heavyweight Title Shot

Francis Ngannou is on quite a roll.

After a two-fight down stretch in early-mid 2018, the hulking Cameroonian has rebounded more than emphatically. He knocked out Curtis Blaydes last November to get the ball rolling, yet that was only the start of his return. ‘The Predator’ owns two first-round knockouts over former champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in 2019.

The victories have him on the precipice of another title shot in a UFC heavyweight division lacking true title contenders. Champ Daniel Cormier will take on Stipe Miocic in the main event of August 17’s UFC 241. It would seem Ngannou is next for whoever wins that pivotal, heavy-hitting rematch.

However, Ngannou recently told MMA Fighting (via Bloody Elbow) that has not been confirmed in any official capacity. He did claim it was ‘obvious’ he would get the next crack at the belt:

“No, no one has confirmed that. But, I think it’s just obvious. I think it’s just something that’s gonna happen, because what would happen next? What’s left? Maybe if Stipe wins they will attempt a third fight with both, which still doesn’t make sense. I’m here waiting for the title.”

There is, of course, the added dynamic of Cormier and Miocic possibly having a trilogy fight. ‘DC’ knocked out Miocic to become the champ champ at last year’s UFC 226. A KO for the Cleveland-based former champion would almost certainly stoke the fires for a third fight between the two rivals. If that were to happen, Ngannou said he would wait because he knows his time will soon come:

“I mean, I have my time, I’m in the line. I’m legit, so I could wait. Let’s see how this plays out and we will see what happens, but I’m waiting for the title shot.”

Looking at the current heavyweight rankings, Ngannou has knocked out two of the top five competitors in the last eight months. He’s also lost to the other two by decision, but Derrick Lewis got manhandled in his title shot against Cormier last November. There just isn’t another contender close to as deserving of a title shot as ‘The Predator’ is.

He should get it someday soon, he just doesn’t know when.

Will Francis Ngannou’s second UFC title shot play out differently than his first?

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