Francis Ngannou may have a fight against Derrick Lewis lined up next weekend at UFC 226, but his plan is simple. Get through “The Black Beast”, and then get another shot at the UFC heavyweight title.
Ngannou (11-2) suffered his first UFC loss when he was bettered by Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January. The Cameroonian had an impressive run before he was granted a title shot, knocking out the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem both in the first round.
Speaking at a UFC media day earlier this week, Ngannou said a number of things were ‘messed up’ for his last fight against Miocic. He also discussed his fight with Lewis at UFC 226, and his plans for the future.
“When he [Lewis] started to talk, I tried to reply, but I realized that a lot of things don’t make sense,” Ngannou said. “I won’t be silly, so I stopped. I let him do his thing. Maybe it’s his personality. But the guy, by himself, I don’t know him. We never know what is behind a fighter until we meet. Sometimes it’s just about business.” (Transcription by MMAjunkie)
When asked about the matchup with Lewis, Ngannou acknowledged that it’s a fight between two huge heavyweights, who both like to come forward, however he will try to revert to the Ngannou we saw before his fight with Miocic.
“OK, I’m another big guy. Instead of going forward, we will be smarter and go back to the Francis before the last fight. Watch my opponent, leave it, come to me, and as soon as he gives me the opportunity, I take it.”
On the same night as Ngannou’s fight with Lewis, Miocic will fight light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title. Ngannou has made it clear that a win over Lewis will hopefully secure him either another title shot, or a rematch with Miocic, depending on the outcome of the UFC 226 main event.
I want both, I want the title, and I want the rematch against Stipe.” Ngannou said. “Doesn’t matter what happens. I want to fix this.”