Francis Ngannou Hopes To Defend Against Brock Lesner If He Beats Stipe Miocic…
Francis Ngannou faces the UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220, on 20th January, in what is going to be one of the biggest fights of the year (No pun intended). It’s arguably the first genuinely compelling title fight in the division since the days of Brock Lesner.
There is something about Heavyweight competition that just sucks audiences in. The idea of two behemoths slugging it out with each other, with the knowledge that a single blow could end it all in an instant. It is synonymous with combat sports. Both in boxing – think of Mike Tyson’s glory days – and in MMA, fans are drawn to these titanic battles.
Ngannou is a proven knockout artist and is yet to be taken the full distance in any of his professional fights. Although Miocic is more dangerous than any of his previous opponents, the Cameroonian is already looking past UFC 220. Former champion and WWE star Brock Lesner is the name on the ‘The Predator’s’ lips as a potential challenger, if he becomes champion.
Ngannou was responsible for one of the most devastating knockouts of 2017, when he scored a brutal KO over Alistair Overeem. Since then he has done a decent job of promoting himself, with the UFC giving their full backing to the giant fighter. His charm and confidence is supported by an incredible personal story.
After moving to Paris from Cameroon, to pursue his dream of being a professional boxer, Ngannou found himself homeless on the streets of the French capital. He was taken in by his current head coach, Fernand Lopez, and has taken to MMA like a duck to water.
His opponent Miocic, the current champion, has complained in the past that the UFC has undervalued him. The organisation blatantly see Ngannou as the more promotable fighter, capable of building a legacy and doing more to sell their brand. Recognising this, Ngannou has spoken out about his post-Miocic ambitions.
Ngannou told WFAN’s Outside the Cage why he thinks Brock Lesner would be the perfect opponent for him to face next. He said:
“As the champion, I think I am going to let them come and show them that I am the king. But also, I think the fight that I would like to see is Ngannou vs. Brock Lesner. He seems like a very rich guy, a very powerful guy. I want to test him.”
In a division with a shortage of obvious challengers, the return of Brock Lesner would definitely be appealing to the UFC on a big pay-per-view card. With the UFC’s deficit of big names, Ngannou beating Lesner could be the final step in making the Cameroon fighter a mainstream star.
However, there are a couple of reasons why this fight might not happen. The first is that Lesner has already made a comeback, when he defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 220. However, in the aftermath he tested positive for a banned substance, tarnishing his return.
Reason number two is the fact that Stipe Miocic is being chronically underestimated. He will happily crush Ngannou’s fairytale if he is given the opportunity. Although ‘The Predator’ has yet to make it past his biggest test to date, it’s clear the UFC has high hopes for him. He’s definitely helping his case.