After a brief slump and major criticisms from UFC president Dana White and his own coaches, Francis N‘Gannou has been able get himself back on the winning track. On Sunday night, “The Predator” was able to notch the biggest win of his career by knocking out Cain Velasquez in just 26 seconds of action.
N’Gannou’s struggles in the past were against elite wrestlers, as seen in his title fight against Stipe Miocic last year. But after this most recent accomplishment, he also feels more assured about what he can bring to the table in terms of wrestling and grappling.
“Just a reminder, Cain is a wrestler, Curtis Blaydes is a wrestler,” N’Gannou said during his post-fight scrum. “There are a lot of wrestlers on my record and I dealt with that. They always tried their wrestling.”
“My wrestling is not as good as his own, and I’m not expecting to have a wrestling (match) with this guy who wrestled his entire life. But also, I’m now getting more confidence because I know that if we go to the ground, I’m gonna make it.
“I have no doubt about it. I’m improving my ground game very well and you’re gonna have a chance to see it,” he added.
Velasquez was greatly disappointed about the outcome, and attributed his loss more on his knee that buckled mid-fight, as opposed to the punches that were thrown. N’Gannou, however, disagrees.
“His knee buckled after the uppercut on his chin. There is video about it so you can find out, and you will see the uppercut. So that might be why the knee buckled because he got disconnected.”
As for his next fight, N’Gannou is expecting nothing less than another crack at the belt.
“I think what should be next for me is a title shot. I think the victory against Cain, after that you deserve a title shot,” he said.
“I’m now focused on the title shot. I cannot answer the ‘ifs’, I don’t have a hand on it. But I know what I want, which is the title shot.”
N’Gannou now extends his winning streak to two, as he improves to a record of 13-3, with all wins ending by stoppage.