Francis Ngannou is Looking Scary Sharp as He Prepares For His Return Against Derrick Lewis…

He is possibly the single most terrifying fighter on the UFC roster today. Francis Ngannou is the man with the world’s most powerful punch – shut up Joe Rogan – and we’ve seen him use it in action. An awesome fighter and a humble individual.

Ngannou’s most recent fight was against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. He was roundly beaten in the end, after he gassed out. Miocic’s gameplan was excellent, but there was always still a sense of what if Ngannou just clips him once? That’s the fear factor the Cameroonian brings to the octagon.

Now he’s on his way back to action, this time against another power puncher, in Derrick Lewis. Ngannou had been basically living in the UFC Performance Center in Las Vegas. However, now he’s taken his training to Syndicate Martial Arts. He looks incredibly sharp.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Fairytale

‘The Predator’s’ life is like something out of a film script. Born in Batie, Cameroon, he pursued boxing and worked in a quarry for most of his young life. Then at the age of 26, he left Cameroon for Paris, where he wanted to turn professional. Fernand Lopez, head coach at the MMA Factory, saw something in him and gave him a place to stay and train.

Up until the Miocic fight, Ngannou had looked unstoppable. After almost decapitating Alistair Overeem with one uppercut, many people had already signed the Book of Condolences for Miocic’s family. The UFC also clearly saw something that they liked, because Ngannou received a massive promotional push in the run-up to that fight.

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports

Next Step

Ngannou knows that a dominant win over Lewis could be enough to get him another title shot – especially if Daniel Cormier beats Stipe Miocic on the main card of UFC 225. The heavyweight division is thin right now, although there are some rising fighters coming through the ranks like Tai Tuivasa, Curtis Blaydes, and Alexander Volkov.

Derrick Lewis knows that the UFC wants Ngannou to put him away in the same way that he did to Overeem. He’s been aggressive towards the Cameroonian in the run-up to this one, although Ngannou has stayed very camera shy. Lewis wants a title shot if he beats Ngannou. He told the MMA Hour:

“Stipe already beat just about everybody in the top five anyway, so it wouldn’t really make sense for them to get the next shot, besides me or Francis, because he’s the No. 1 contender, but everyone else is really not even worthy enough to fight Stipe again.”

Pressure

Ngannou is under massive pressure to reignite his title challenge. He’s still the No.1 contender despite his loss. It should also be a phenomenal fight: ‘The Predator’ vs ‘The Black Beast’. It’s easily good enough to headline the main event of a fight night.

it remains to be seen what changes Ngannou has made to his style – if any – and whether he has focused more on the grappling arts. He said, after the Miocic fight, that he learned more that night than in the entirety of his career. We’ll see. It’s better than those UFC Performance Center treadmills anyway.

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