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UFC 252: Francis Ngannou in talks to serve as back-up for ‘Miocic vs Cormier 3’ on Aug. 15

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

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, after months of being non-committal about his mixed martial arts (MMA) return, has finally agreed to a Daniel Cormier rubber match in the promotion’s Aug. 15 pay-per-view (PPV) main event.

And since we’re still dealing with the fallout from COVID-19, there are no guarantees that either fighter makes it to the yet-to-be announced location, which is why Dana White and Co. are trying to recruit Francis Ngannou as back up.

“We’ve talked to [Ngannou] about that,” White The Schmozone Podcast (transcribed by Tom Taylor). “I don’t know where we are on those talks, but yeah, obviously if one of those guys fell out, we’d be looking to put Francis in there.”

Ngannou (15-3) already had his shot at Miocic when they went to war at UFC 220 back in early 2018. Since their first go-round, “The Predator” has put together a 4-1 win streak with four knockouts, finishing two former heavyweight champions along the way.

That said, Ngannou is expected to get the next title shot regardless of whether or not he’s needed to fill in on Aug. 15. But if Cormier prevails and retires from UFC, then matchmakers will have to decide who’s worthy of fighting “The Predator” for the vacant strap.