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‘He was lucky’ - Michel Pereira details hotel confrontation with Francis Ngannou

“If Ngannou started a fight, what would I do to him?”

Francis Ngannou celebrates his 26-second KO win over Cain Velasquez in 2019.
Francis Ngannou celebrates his 26-second KO win over Cain Velasquez in 2019.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Given his size, power, and reputation, UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is easily one of the most intimidating men to ever walk the planet. But some would dare to want that smoke, one of them being welterweight fighter Michel Pereira.

“Demolidor” apparently had an altercation with “The Predator” at their hotel lobby after UFC 270 in January. Both men competed and won their respective fights that night. Pereira and his team were apparently in party mode and Ngannou – whose room was right next door – wasn’t having it.

“We celebrated my victory at the hotel, had fun,” Pereire told Canal Encarada (H/T Ngannou_MMA fan page and MMA Mania). “And we are such guys - we move only with music, we constantly light up, even when we cut weight. I always rock, and my guys are the same. Constantly moving noisily, having parties.

“Guerra was drinking there non-stop, everyone was joking, bantering. And our room was next door to Ngannou. And since the room was small, and there were a lot of people, someone suggested, ‘Let’s sit in the hallway?’

“And we sat down in the corridor, and immediately came out to us - who would you think? Ngannou. The guys look at each other like that, ‘Wow, Ngannou is coming.’”

They say it’s never wise to wake up a sleeping giant, and Pereira and his team did just that. But instead of backing down, the Brazilian says he was ready for a fight.

“He comes up and says, ‘Hey, do you think it’s real to fall asleep when there’s such a noise? How do I sleep, huh?’ “Honestly, at that moment I felt uncomfortable,” Pereira said. “I was after a hard fight, my nose was broken, my legs were beaten off.

“If Ngannou started a fight, what would I do to him? The team is already all drunk, they wouldn’t have helped me in any way.”

What irked Pereira, he says, was the manner of Ngannou’s approach.

“Honestly, Ngannou made me angry. Why couldn’t he address us politely? He was lucky that I was all beaten up and couldn’t do anything, especially for a guy of this size,” he said. “I don’t even want to think about it. I know he’s a modest, nice guy, but why couldn’t he tell us politely, ‘Hey, guys, could you ...’

“I didn’t like the way he spoke to us. You need to be polite to people. If he had addressed us politely, we would have retained respect for him forever. And so - we just fell silent. ‘What the f—k?! Do you think you can fall asleep with such noise?’

“Bro, we were just drinking ... You have to be polite to people. I could have answered him too, ‘Bro, go f—k. Who are you anyway?’”

We all know how such ordeals end, so, fortunately, things didn’t go out of hand with this one.

The 28-year-old Pereira (28-11, 2 NC) capped off a four-fight win streak on Saturday with a victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio, which also earned him a spot in the top 15 rankings at 170 pounds. He also took home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.