Francis Ngannou knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruick in just 20 seconds of the first round this past weekend (Sat., May 9, 2020) at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. While “The Predator” is undoubtedly thrilled with the result, he did leave Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena feeling a bit frustrated.
That’s because the power-packing big man was hoping to fight a bit more to get some work in and possibly showcase the rest of his skills. Ngannou broke it all down to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani a few days removed from his fourth-straight knockout win.
“It was a little frustrating to not be able to fight longer. But the feeling of the job done, the joy, it primes the frustration, way more,” Ngannou said. “At the end of the day, it is all about winning the fight. It’s not like I win it the wrong way. It was fair, clean and a good knockout. I am okay with it but still feel a bit frustrated. I have been putting in a lot of work, ground game, wrestling, working a lot with my team on all those. Maybe for next time.
“Definitely am happy about it,” he continued. “I’m just saying, subconsciously you have this thing telling you, ‘I would like to showcase my whole game.’”
Ngannou’s frustration is understandable, as this was his first taste of true mixed martial arts (MMA) competition in a year. Furthermore, for those keeping count, Ngannou’s last four wins include his 20-second destruction of Jairzinho, ending Junior dos Santos in 71 seconds, sending Cain Velasquez to WWE in just 26 seconds, as well flattening Curtis Blaydes in a mere 45 seconds.
All told, Ngannou has competed four times in 18 months, totaling just 162 seconds of actual cage time. But, those are the perks of possessing the vicious knockout power and an aggressive fight style; being able get in and out as fast as possible without taking any damage.
The win not only earned Ngannou a cool $50,000 in bonus cash, but also a shot at the Heavyweight title. Of course, he will have to wait and see when Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier take part in their trilogy fight, which could mean another extended sit for the Cameroonian.
Then again, the promotion did hint at the possibility of stripping Miocic, which could lead to a title fight between “DC” and “The Predator.” Cormier has already confirmed he’d be interested in that option. If that comes to pass, perhaps Ngannou will get his wish of putting all his tools to work in a long, drawn out bout as Cormier is one of the best wrestlers in the sport.
Plus, “DC” has already revealed his not-so secret gameplan of taking down “The Predator” to avoid become another first-round knockout victim.