Ngannou’s first shot at the UFC’s HW crown
Ngannou bombed his way into a title shot in January, 2018, by going 6-0 in his first 6 UFC bouts. Not only that, Ngannou stopped every fighter he faced along the way, and that included viciously knocking out Alistair Overeem in December 2017.
Ngannou squared off with Miocic at UFC 220 in January, 2018. But, the champ mixed in his wrestling effectively and scored a unanimous decision win.
Fast forward to today
After Ngannou lost to Miocic, “The Predator” dropped a lackluster, decision loss to Derrick Lewis last July. Since then, however, Ngannou has been buzzing the MMA world once again, big time, by quickly wrecking Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. As a result of that run, Ngannou is knocking on the title shot door once again, and he’s been campaigning hard for another crack at the belt.
Well, recently Miocic avenged his loss to Daniel Cormier last summer, by taking out the legend at UFC 241. So, if Ngannou does get tapped to face Miocic again, how would things be different? Recently Ngannou told MMA Fighting this:
“The biggest difference now is that I have increased my experience and I understand more about the fighting game. My biggest change would be not to underestimate Stipe as I did before,” Ngannou said. “The difference would be how to prepare to fight and then how to [condition] my body in training camp as a challenger. How to set up everything compared to the first time.
“Once again, the first time was a mess. I didn’t know what I was doing there. It helped me to understand a lot of things. It helped me to learn. It helped to understand a lot of things. To know how things work.”
It’s kind of interesting to hear that Ngannou underestimated Miocic. After all, we’re talking about a guy who before facing Ngannou, had defeated top-tier heavyweights like Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, dos Santos and Mark Hunt. Further, Miocic has great hands as well as takedowns, which proved to be the undoing of Ngannou the first time around.
All this aside, the big question now is will Cormier ask the UFC for a rubber match with Miocic? Or walk away from the game? If it’s the latter, it’s hard to imagine anyone else getting a bout with Miocic other than Ngannou. Unless, perhaps, Jon Jones decides he wants to try becoming a champ-champ too…