Incoming UFC 260 heavyweight title challenger, Francis Ngannou has touched on the emotional baggage that came with his January 2018 title shot loss to Stipe Miocic, ahead of their rematch this weekend at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Touted as a favourite in many books ahead of the UFC 220 showdown at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, Ngannou had blitzed through the first six opponents presented to him during his promotional run, stopping the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Andrei Arlovski, and Alistair Overeem, the last of which in quite spectacular fashion to earn a crack at Miocic’s gold.

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Headlining that event as well, Ngannou suffered a rather one-sided unanimous decision defeat, the first of his brief UFC stint, suffering six demoralizing takedowns on route to the loss. The blemish also came as the Cameroonian’s first loss since his second professional appearance.

Returning at UFC 226 in July of that year, Ngannou turned in one of the most forgettable matchups in the promotion’s history in tandem with now surging knockout ace, Derrick Lewis — dropping his second consecutive defeat in a unanimous decision loss yet again. Rebounding to earn a second title challenge against Miocic this weekend, Ngannou has embarked on a stunning four-fight knockout run since.

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Speaking with BT Sport reporter, Adam Catterall ahead of his rematch with Miocic this weekend, the Batie native opened up on the emotional effects that came in tow with his loss to the Ohio standout.

It was pretty hard,” Ngannou said. “I remember coming home and then feeling like everything has fallen apart. I remember sometimes going to bed at night and didn’t want the sun to rise the next day. Like just thinking how can go back and fix it like no way, you know, it was hard to deal with.

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As part of his current streak through the division’s ranks back to the number-one slot, Ngannou scored a second career victory over Blaydes, as well as opening round knockout triumphs over former heavyweight champions, Cain Velasquez, and the recently released, Junior dos Santos.

In his most recent Octagon walk, the Xtreme Couture mover featured at UFC 249 last May in Jacksonville, Florida — stopping Suriname kickboxer, Jairzinho Rozenstruik with a barrage of strikes at the fence in just twenty-seconds. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.