After another impressive knockout win on his resume, Francis Ngannou aims to continue this streak when he fights heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Fast-rising heavyweight star Francis Ngannou has been on a tear, so far. On Saturday night at UFC 218, he added another knockout win on his record with a devastating one-punch first-round stoppage against Alistair Overeem.
Ngannou’s performance earned him the next shot at Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight title, as confirmed by UFC president Dana White himself. “The Predator”, meanwhile, is approaching this massive opportunity with a lot of confidence.
“The match against Stipe, the same way. Knockout,” Ngannou told Megan Olivi in a backstage interview. “There are no (other) prognosis possible besides a knockout for me. I just get myself ready, go do an easy fight, go back home.”
“I don’t want to make it a three, four-round fight. Just a knockout, first round, go back home.”
As for Overeem, Ngannou says he has the utmost respect for the former Strikeforce champion but simply saw the fight as a stepping stone to get to the title.
“When they told me that Alistair Overeem accepted the fight, I was very happy,” Ngannou said. “I was like ‘Whoa, that’s a good thing’ because he was the number one contender, and then he knew that it’s very dangerous to take me as an opponent, and he accepted the fight. I was like ‘OK, thank you, let’s do this.’ I just felt like that was a gift, maybe an early Christmas gift. So I took it.”
“But Alistair Overeem is a legend, you can’t take that (away) from him,” he added. “He’s been doing this for like 20 years, he won in many other organizations. But, I care about myself first.”
“He’s a legend of this sport, for sure, he’s done more than I have. But now, I’m the newcomer, I’m the one who’s gonna take the championship.”
No date has been set for Miocic vs. Ngannou, but White says he wants to see it happen way sooner than the UFC’s annual International Fight Week in July.