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The Rock sends positive message to Francis Ngannou, fellow UFC fighters

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dwayne Johnson, like the rest of us, is excited to see the UFC return to action once the COVID-19 curve has flattened.

“The Rock” hosted an Instagram Live Q&A on Sunday and responded to questions from his legion of fans. One of them was UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou, who was scheduled to fight Jairzinho Rozenstruik on Saturday at UFC 249 event before it was postponed.

“The Predator” told Johnson he’s “an inspiration” and invited the former WWE champion to join him for a future workout. Ngannou shared that clip via his Twitter account.

“Francis Ngannou, let me tell you something, brother – you ain’t ready for me,” Johnson joked. “I respect and love this guy so much. He is one of the top heavyweights in MMA, and in the world, and he is a dominant beast of a man. I can’t wait to see him fight again.”

Johnson has been a big UFC fan and supporter for a long time. In November, the action star played a significant role in the main event of UFC 244 between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, wrapping the brand new “BMF title” around the waist of Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal after his win.

During Sunday’s chat, Johnson revealed he is a fan of the former UFC heavyweight title challenger.

“I’ve been following your career, Francis, so thank you for saying that, saying that I was your inspiration,” he said. “I wish you nothing but the best. I hear really cool things about you, and I look forward to seeing you and seeing you fight again.”

During UFC 244 fight week, Johnson also revealed that he, along with his company Seven Bucks Productions, will create a biopic based on the life of MMA pioneer Mark Kerr. Johnson will also star in the film as Kerr; the movie’s production and release date is unknown.

Johnson, who’s had his own hardships in life before becoming one of the biggest stars in wrestling and movies, can sympathize with the fighters left in the lurch by the coronavirus. Once things settle down, he’s excited to see the action unfold once again.

“To all the fighters in the UFC, MMA, and around the world – specifically the UFC because I’ve been really following them closely, Dana White and I are very good buddies – I feel for you guys not being able to fight,” Johnson stated. “But soon enough, there’s a silver lining in this.

“Maybe it’s your training, maybe it’s your mental capacity that you could expand right now as you guys aren’t allowed in the cage as you’ve been shut down, but there is some silver lining in all of this and I hope you guys find it. Because when you come back, the velocity in which you guys come back, I expect to see some dynamite fights when you come back in the cage and I can’t wait. The moment I can be there, I’m going to be there cage side.”

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