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Francis Ngannou will be ‘smarter’ against Derrick Lewis at UFC 226, wants to ‘fix’ past mistakes

UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Francis Ngannou was on one of the most impressive runs in UFC heavyweight history before his title shot with champion Stipe Miocic earlier this year at UFC 220.

Having finished all six of his Octagon appearances by way of knockout or submission, “Predator” was expected to give Miocic a run for his money. Instead, the champion exposed Ngannou’s mediocre ground game and rendered his world-class punching power useless.

Not to worry. Even though Ngannou is just five years into his professional MMA career, he understands that he needs to fix his past mistakes and improve on his defects.

“A lot of things were messed up for the fight,” Ngannou said earlier this week during a UFC 226 media scrum (h/t MMAjunkie). “I’m trying to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

In an attempt to bounce back and regain his footing in the heavyweight division Ngannou will be taking on fellow knockout artist Derrick Lewis next weekend at UFC 226 in Las Vegas. It is one of the biggest cards of the year and a perfect scenario for “Predator” to get back into the win column in devastating fashion.

“OK, ‘Derrick Lewis and his style.’ So, can you remind me of his style first?” Ngannou jokingly asked. “What is his style?”

“OK, I’m another big guy,” Ngannou continued. “Instead of going forward, we will be smarter and go back to the Francis before the last fight. Watch my opponent, leave it, come to me, and as soon as he gives me the opportunity, I take it.”

Ngannou’s plan may work fine, but he needs to watch out for Lewis’ power. While “Predator” has never been finished in his career, Lewis has 17 knockouts in 19 pro wins. That’s pretty impressive, especially considering “Black Beast” has recorded nine of those finishes under UFC control.

If Ngannou is able to get past Lewis on July 7 in Vegas he’ll likely position himself for another title shot. That’s exactly what Ngannou is aiming for, in addition to a rematch with Miocic to avenge the only loss of his UFC tenure.

“I want both,” Ngannou said. “I want the title, and I want the rematch against Stipe. Doesn’t matter what happens. I want to fix this.”

UFC 226 will be headlined by a heavyweight superfight between Miocic and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

For complete UFC 226 fight card news click here.

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