UFC President Dana White Gave an Honest Summary of Francis Ngannou’s Performance Against Derrick Lewis…
This was arguably the most disappointing fight in the history of the UFC, and certainly in the heavyweight division. Not the worst – no that dubious honor still belongs Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia back at UFC 61 (5 rounds of garbage) – but definitely the most disappointing.
On paper, it looked like the perfect replacement as a co-main event for Max Holloway and Brian Ortega, after the featherweight champion was hospitalized. Two absolutely savage behemoths, with ferocious knockout power. Many people were looking forward to it more than the main event of Stipe Miocic against Daniel Cormier.
It was dire. Absolutely dire. Lewis won a bleak decision victory, simply because his output was a bit higher than Ngannou’s. A fight that wasn’t supposed to get past the first round went the distance. Dana White has addressed the fact that we’re never getting that 20 minutes of our lives back and condemned Ngannou’s approach to the fight, caling it an abomination.
It’s absolutely bizarre. Before losing to Stipe Miocic, Ngannou was arguably the most hyped fighter in the UFC. Even though he was found out by the then-champion, in rounds one and two he still swung for the knockout. This time around he was timid. There’s no other word for it. He bounced around without even looking to punch. Dana White explained:
”I think that he had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him, everybody was talking about him. I thought he was going to be the next big guy. I think his ego ran away with him, big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him. The minute that that happens to you in the fight game, you see what happens. You start to fall apart.”
Well, the UFC has to count themselves as somewhat responsible for that. Ngannou’s rags-to-riches story has been well publicised and marketed. It still doesn’t explain why he was like a kitten at UFC 226.
Fewest Combined Strikes Landed, Three-round UFC Fight
23 – Pulver vs. Roque
31 – Lewis vs. Ngannou
34 – Moroz vs. Taylor
36 – Khabilov vs. Martins
42 – Liddell vs. Bustamante
42 – Brimage vs. Blanco#UFC226
— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) July 8, 2018
Out of Control
This fight between two of the hardest hitters in the world ended with the second least number of combined strikes in a three-round UFC fight. Ever. They finished with a total of 31 after 3 rounds of walking around the octagon. For comparison, Daniel Cormier’s first-round KO win over Stipe Miocic had 60 strikes. Those are damning figures.
“I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was just so out of control,” White told media at the post-fight press conference. “It’s like, before the Stipe fight, he took off and went to France. Didn’t even really train for that fight. And you see the results. Well, he came back and did train [this time], but ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
Ngannou has yet to release any statement since the fight ended. He didn’t attend the post-fight press conference and is said to be devastated. Derrick Lewis escaped the harsh criticism from White, who said that his stock would be unaffected as he did enough to get the win and had a bad back.
Still though, imagine staying up until 5 am for that fight? Appalling.