Francis Ngannou was supposed to be the new King of the Heavyweights….what happened??

Heading into UFC 220, most experts picked Francis Ngannou to win the UFC heavyweight championship. Not only that, some had already pegged him as the future of the division.

Others still said he would be the next face of the organization, the next big star who brings in monster pay-per-view numbers.

Stipe Miocic had other plans, however. He dodged Ngannou’s strikes, tired the big man down, then controlled him for the duration of the bout. It was 25 minutes of harsh reality being delivered to Ngannou, his trainers, and most of all to Dana White and the UFC. Ngannou would not turn into their new golden goose on Saturday night like they had hoped. He would not become their Mike Tyson.

So what happened? Was this just a case of an arrogant knockout artist neglecting his cardio? Was it a crafty champion fighting a smart strategy?

Recently on an episode of his MMA podcast, Joe Rogan offered his theories on what went wrong for Ngannou at UFC 220.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

UFC Wanted Ngannou to Win

Heading into UFC 220, Ngannou was a -175 favorite over the champion. Miocic himself stated that he felt the UFC wanted Ngannou to win and become the new face of the heavyweight division.

When asked if he felt the promotion was pulling for his opponent, here is what the champion had to say:

“Obviously, for sure,” Miocic said. “Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected, but I’m not going to dwell on it.

“He’s got more hype on him I guess,” Miocic said. “The guy hits super hard. We’re making a big thing about it. I’ve fought some good guys, you know? That’s how we are. I’m not much of a trash talker I just like to fight, that’s what I do.

“All the pressure is on him, honestly. … The best guys he’s faced, I knocked them out two years ago. So, whatever.”

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

What is Next for Ngannou? 

Many are speculating who might be the next in line to take on Miocic, but not much has been said about what is next for Ngannou. A fighter’s first loss can often send an athlete down 1 of 2 paths: either he will learn from the experience and grow as a fighter or he will lose all confidence and spiral down the rankings.

According to Joe Rogan, there are many aspects of his game Ngannou is neglecting to train. Based on what Rogan has heard, Ngannou is going to need to make real changes in his approach if he is ever to reach the potential many believe he still has.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Rogan on Francis Ngannou’s Training

“Before, everyone was saying, ‘Oh my God, he’s in tremendous shape, everything is amazing,’” Rogan said on a recent episode of the JRE MMA Show podcast. “Then afterwards it’s like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t train on the ground.’ What? He doesn’t train on the ground? They go, ‘All he wants to do is strike.’ You can’t let him do that. You can’t let him.

“He’s going to fight a Division-I wrestler,” he continued. “How is he going to do this? How is he going to stand up? He’s going to magically get up? You have to train it.”

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.