Francis Ngannou made it loud and clear who he wants to fight next and his choice of opponent is probably music to the UFC’s ears.
Coming off his first loss inside the Octagon, Ngannou has several opponents calling him out, but he stated his preference during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday: former UFC heavyweight champion and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.
“Please Brock, come back, come back my friend. We need you here,” Ngannou said. “We need you to put the fun in this division. I need you to give me that f*cking fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time, I’ve been dreaming for.”
Among the names calling for a fight with Ngannou are fellow slugger Derrick Lewis and fan favorite Mark Hunt, and Ngannou is determined to take whatever path gets him to a second shot at a title. The 31-year-old Cameroonian won his first six UFC fights, all by knockout or submission, before losing a one-sided unanimous decision to champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January.
Though Lewis and Hunt have caught his interest, Ngannou named Lesnar as the one he’d want to fight next if it were up to him.
“It’s up to what (the UFC) want to give me,” Ngannou said. “There are a lot of people out there who want to fight me. I saw Mark Hunt, he would be a great one. By myself, I want Brock. Brock Lesnar.”
Lesnar is currently employed by the WWE, where he currently reigns as the sports entertainment organization’s heavyweight champion. He’s not the only titleholder in Ngannou’s sights however, as “The Predator” also mentioned the possibility of trading punches with heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua after hearing that the British star had teased a move to MMA.
“I heard Anthony Joshua say he’s gonna fight in MMA and if he wants to face me and I was like, ‘Hey, you’re welcome, man,’” Ngannou said. “We gonna do it both sides, in the Octagon and inside the ring.”
A hypothetical battle between Lesnar and Ngannou would pit two of the UFC’s most imposing figures against one another, a detail that is not lost on Ngannou. He pointed to Lesnar’s famous physique as one reason why the two need to step into the cage.
“I like the fight,” Ngannou said. “He look like — I don’t know if you ever seen this guy, he looks very, very big and strong. And I really want to try that.”
The status of Lesnar is up in the air as he’s currently still under contract with the WWE, though rumors of a UFC return are constantly swirling around the 40-year-old fighter, who has not competed since a bout vs. Hunt at UFC 200 in July 2016. The result of that contest — originally a unanimous decision win for Lesnar — was overturned to a no-contest when Lesnar failed a pair of drug tests. He would announce his retirement and return to professional wrestling shortly after.
Should Lesnar ever make the walk to the Octagon again, Ngannou is determined to be the one standing across from him. It sounds like Lewis, Hunt, and Joshua will have to settle for being Ngannou’s second choice.
“Listen, there are the three ones who want me and me, I want Brock,” Ngannou said.