Stipe Miocic’s victory at UFC 211 was not enough to impress rising prospect Francis Ngannou.
Miocic successfully completed his second heavyweight title defense, stopping former champion Junior dos Santos in the first round of their main event bout at UFC 211. Miocic’s victory didn’t only avenge his 2014 loss to dos Santos, but also allowed him to tie the record for most consecutive heavyweight title defenses in the promotion.
“That was a good performance, but I was not impressed, I need more than that,” Ngannou told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I would say I’m more impressed with someone like [Cain] Velasquez. I think Velasquez is the best heavyweight that we have, and that’s why I want to fight him.”
Despite being undefeated in the UFC with all five wins coming by stoppage, the 30-year-old Ngannou is still relatively new to the sport, as he’s been fighting professionally for less than four years. Yet, Ngannou is confident he’s ready to dethrone the champ, and that has earned him criticism online, which Ngannou has chose ignore.
“You cant think too much about what someone says,” Ngannou explained. “Someone will always be negative, someone will always talk shit, and you’ll always have those kind of people, but you have to choose what you want to hear and continue your growing.
“Since the beginning, even before my first fight in the UFC, people said, ‘he's not ready, he just started MMA two years ago, they’re going to beat him up, it’s too early,’ and something like that. But what are we going to do? You’ll always have those kinds of people, and if it’s someone that supports Stipe, of course they're going to say you still need to improve yourself, you need to learn more, Stipe is tougher than you.”
For now, the Cameroonian is in search of a new team that can take him to the next level of his fighting game, as he recently moved from Paris to Las Vegas. Ngannou believes he’ll be established on an MMA team in the coming weeks and would like to return to action sometime in July or August. Ideally, “The Predator” would love to get a crack at Miocic’s title but understand he might need a win to get his shot, that’s why he wants to fight against someone like Velasquez.
“The reasons why I moved to Las Vegas is because right now I'm ready for all challengers,” Ngannou said. “I’m ranked No. 5 right now and I could probably fight anyone right now. I already called out Velasquez but he says he's injured, but I would like to fight him and then get a title shot.”