UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier does not understand the newfound hype surrounding Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou most recently knocked out Junior dos Santos in just over a minute to cement himself as the next title challenger. That win follows quick knockouts over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez as well, as the hype train seems to have returned for “The Predator.”
However, should Cormier defeat Stipe Miocic at UFC 241, he would have no hesitation in facing Ngannou afterwards, despite the latter’s devastating knockout run:
“I think he’s a great guy,” Cormier told Aaron Bronsteter. “I like Francis, he’s very respectful. But I think everybody now, has to take a step back because nothing’s changed. This is the same thing that we saw prior to his title fight [with Stipe Miocic]. Just remember that. You guys have to slow down. You get excited and you fall in love with these knockouts but nothing has changed.
“He did that to [Alistair] Overeem to earn a title fight. He knocked out all those guys prior. Nothing’s changed. So as much as I respect him, it’s not a fight that I would have much hesitation in taking.”
“DC” has a point. Ngannou was on a hot streak before facing Miocic at UFC 220 last year. However, he was completely out-classed by the Cleveland native, who utilized his wrestling to tire Ngannou out and come away with a dominant decision win.
Cormier alluded that the same thing would virtually happen should he face Ngannou in a title fight next:
“I’m just saying that nothing’s changed,” Cormier explained. “He beat Cain in 25 seconds which is crazy to me. He beat Junior in a minute and 5 seconds which is crazy to me. And he beat Curtis Blaydes in about a minute. So he’s fought three minutes total. What happens at minute seven and minute eight and minute nine and minute 10 when a guy’s just dragging on him and grinding on him and making all that muscle blow up?
“That’s a big guy. Everybody loves the physical guy, the big, strong, the bulging muscles. But at the end of the day, oxygen has to pass through that and when you start to wear at that, those guys get tired and I think Francis would have to have made some wholesale changes to change everything and I’m not exactly sure what we’ve seen recently would prove that anything has changed.”
How do you see a Cormier vs. Ngannou fight playing out?