Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight hurter Francis Ngannou airmailed Jairzinho Rozenstruick back to Suriname last Sat. night (May 9) with a first-round knockout that was so violent, coronavirus quarantined itself from “The Predator.”
I can understand why Jon Jones keeps putting off that jump to heavyweight.
Not surprisingly, the mixed martial arts (MMA) fan base has been screaming for another Ngannou title shot after his performance at UFC 249, but that will have to wait until Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier complete their trilogy.
If Miocic opts to sit out, promotion president Dana White has entertained the idea of stripping the champion and pitting Ngannou against “DC” for the vacant strap. That said, you might not want to get your hopes up in terms of entertainment value.
“If I go to fight Francis Ngannou, the smart way to fight him is to go take him down over and over,” Cormier said on the UFC 249 post-fight show (via MMA Junkie). “I did that against Derrick Lewis and people gave me flack for it, ‘All he did was wrestle.’ I’m not going to stand up with him. I’m not going to go and stand up with Francis Ngannou. I’m telling you, I’m telling him. If you’re going to be upset about me taking him down over and over, that’s just what you’re going to have to deal with. I don’t want to get knocked out. That’s what’s going to happen if I stand there. If I stand there, he would knock me out. I would probably wrestle him the whole time until I would submit him.”
Cormier, 41, has made a career out of neutralizing bricklayers, taking out Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (twice), Dan Henderson, and even Miocic when they first went to war at UFC 226. Not only is “DC” an Olympic-caliber wrestler, he transitions from striking to grappling as good (or better) than anyone in the sport.
As for Ngannou, 33, he dropped a five-round decision to Miocic in their UFC 220 headliner back in early 2018, after failing to adjust to the champion’s wrestling-based attack. It’s hard to know if “The Predator” fixed those holes in his game because he’s scored first-round knockouts in his last four fights.
I suppose there’s only one way to find out ...