On Sunday evening, Francis Ngannou reintroduced himself to the MMA world, knocking out former two-time UFC champion Cain Velasquez in just 26 seconds at UFC Phoenix. It was the biggest win of Ngannou’s career to date and potentially set him up for another shot at the heavyweight title later this year. Perhaps more importantly, it put to bed concerns many had about Ngannou after his mostly terrible 2018 and reasserted himself as one of the most feared fighters in the world. Just ask Joe Rogan.
Over the weekend, Rogan recorded a Fight Companion podcast for UFC Phoenix, and after watching Ngannou demolish Velasquez, Rogan declared Ngannou the scariest fighter he has ever seen.
“He’s so big, dude,” said Rogan.” He’s so big and so dangerous. He’s incredible. Cain is one of the best of all time, that’s how good Ngannou is. This is the scariest guy I’ve ever seen.”
Prior to last year, sentiment surrounding Ngannou was very similar. Making his UFC debut in 2015, Ngannou surged to a title shot by amassing a 6-0 record over years, with five devastating knockouts and one submission for good measure. When he was set to fight Stipe Miocic for the title at UFC 220, many expected it to be the start of a new era at heavyweight.
Instead, Miocic played spoiler, outwrestling Ngannou over 25 minutes and retaining his belt. Not only was it a setback for Ngannou, but it also affected his mental game, and Ngannou admitted he let that “fear” affect his performance against Derrick Lewis later that year. People began wondering if Miocic has “broken” Ngannou for good but “The Predator” returned to form against Curtis Blaydes in November, knocking out the wrestler in 45 seconds and now, after this performance against Velasquez, it appears the Ngannou of old is back, and Rogan thinks that is bad news for the heavyweight division, especially given Ngnanou’s relative youth in the division.
“I’m telling you, dude, if that guy keeps learning, and it seems like he had a weird spot, but you know what I really like about that weird spot that he got into?” Rogan said. “He was honest about it. He said, ‘I carried over fear from my last fight.’ A guy that can look at himself that honestly...”
“Francis is the scariest of all time. The thing about Francis is, he’s learning at this really rapid rate when you look at a guy that’s only been doing it for how many years now? 100 percent training, he’s been fighting for maybe five years. I think five years from the time he learned martial arts. Dude, he’s a movie character.”
After his win at UFC Phoenix, Ngannou began lobbying for another title shot but UFC President Dana White has already put the kibosh on that, saying they have a different opponent lined up for Daniel Cormier. But Cormier seems amenable to the idea and if it happens, will likely try to replicate Miocic’s strategy of taking the fight into deep waters and testing Ngannou’s cardio. And he better hurry, because Rogan thinks it’s only a matter of time before that one weakness in Ngannou’s game is no longer a factor.
“Here’s the thing though, all he has to do is get better at that first round and do you really think a lot of guys are gonna make it into that second or third round?”
Uppercut. Francis Ngannou says uppercut, not knee injury, caused Cain Velasquez KO: ‘You can look at the video’.
Beat. If that’s the fight presented, UFC champ Daniel Cormier says ‘I will beat Francis Ngannou’.
Wow. Paul Felder suffered collapsed lung late in UFC Phoenix win over James Vick.
$$$. Nick Diaz not coming back to UFC any time soon: ‘If there was an offer I couldn’t refuse, things would be different’.
Respect. Kron Gracie says it’s ‘cool’ that Conor McGregor ‘respects’ Gracie family.
The MMA Hour.
Usman ahead of UFC 235.
Cejudo on rematching TJ.
History of the MMA heavyweight rankings.
The Co-Main Event. Discussing the resurgence of heavyweight division last weekend.
Severe MMA. Discussing the UFC’s ESPN debut and the Bellator double header.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
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I’m no role model, I’m 35 years old, but I definitely wouldn’t advise anybody to take a fight for less than their worth or fight for free. Which is practically what I would be doing at this point in taking a fight with some of these guys that are not on my level. Nor would I be within my moral ethics to even do that aside from you not painting me as a role model. If there was an offer I couldn’t refuse, things would be different. Until they are - I’d like to continue to think I’ve been fighting to make the world a better place, but until I can continue to do that: “I don’t want to hurt nobody, I just want to party.” Cc: @ufc @nick_diaz_academy @natediaz209 @riokid @thefloridaboy @bellatormma @tmz_tv @mmajunkiedotcom @mariolopez @arielhelwani @foursigmatic
Knows DC is hurt but still out here trying desperately.
.@dc_mma UFC 236 still no headliner. The fans deserve a HW title fight. Me and you on April 13 only makes sense. We making this official or what?— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) February 19, 2019
"Somebody give me a HEEELL YYYEEAH!!"...#WHAT ?! https://t.co/yLDb9GiCMH— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 19, 2019
I got two lungs... I just want a beer for shitsake— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) February 18, 2019
Didn’t fight the right fight last night. Learn a lot from the fight, definitely be back. Just want to say thank you for all the support from my fans, friends, family, coaches, teammates and students— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) February 18, 2019
Al with the answers.
Ufc fighters are holding out for one reason or another... I know why and I have a solution— A1 Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) February 19, 2019
Technically true I suppose.
Not trying to start a fight but..... wrestlers hold 7 of 8 male ufc titles and people are meh..... 1 high level BJJ guy chokes a very low level grappler and people be like #BJJ4life— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) February 18, 2019
Thanks again to @cainmma for the opportunity, such a great fighter and a great man.@ufc @espn #UFCPhoenix pic.twitter.com/16MZ6h7OGk— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) February 18, 2019
This is awesome.
Don Frye and Keiji Muto visiting Takayama is a lot of awesome in one picture. pic.twitter.com/3Btbh2dDMl— chris charlton (@reasonjp) February 19, 2019
Well that seems insane.
Wanna know a secret ? The commission almost didn’t let me fight because of my eyelash extensions— Valerie Loureda (@valerielouredaa) February 18, 2019
Pat Curran (23-7) vs. A.J. McKee (13-0); Bellator 221, May 11.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2016: Kimbo Slice fought Dada 5000 at Bellator 149. Initially Slice won by exhaustion but the results was overturned after Slice tested positive for nandrolone.
Honestly, I would much rather see Ngannou-DC than DC-Stipe. We already saw that and, I’m sorry, if you get bolted in one, you don’t get an immediate rematch. And Stipe can scream “most title defenses” from the rooftops forever and it won’t change my mind. Three. Three title defenses. This isn’t Cyborg’s 37 years being undefeated or DJ’s 11 straight defenses. He was champion for two years and got colded in under 5 minutes. Take another fight.And if the UFC insists on doing DC-Brock or DC-Stipe, Ngannou-Lewis 2 and this time let’s see them actually fight.
If youre answer to the poll is “No”, sound off in the comments about who is the scariest of all time. Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Is Francis Ngannou the scariest MMA fighter of all time?
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