Heading into his January heavyweight title fight with then champion Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou was easily one of the most hyped title challengers in UFC history. In the end, of course, this title shot did not go the way he planned, as he was soundly walloped by Miocic en route to a unanimous decision loss.
From there, things went from bad to worse for Francis Ngannou. In his comeback fight — a collision with fellow knockout artist Derrick Lewis that was expected to be incredible — he unleashed almost no offense, and lost a decision in one of the most objectively terrible fights in UFC history.
In the wake of this loss to Lewis, UFC President Dana White claimed that Francis Ngannou might have developed a bit of an ego. Speaking on a recent edition of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, White made similar comments and claimed he foresaw this development all along. Even though he was one of the biggest contributors to Ngannou’s boundless hype ahead of UFC 220.
“Francis Ngannou, at the time that he was coming up, I believed this guy was going to be the guy, was going to be the heavyweight champion,” White said (via MMA Fighting). “And he lost his mind. This guy completely lost his mind and started to act in a way that you just don’t act. I completely saw it coming, that Stipe, obviously Francis Ngannou is a massive, strong, hard-hitting guy and anything can happen when he gets in there, but Stipe has this thing where he feels disrespected. This guy’s always on fire and pissed off at the world, pissed off at us and I saw that coming. I knew, Francis Ngannou left the training center here where had trained for previous fights, took off to France, was in France training or doing whatever he was doing leading up to the Stipe fight, because he absolutely, positively knew he was going to beat Stipe.”
“I don’t know,” White added. “Ngannou has a lot of things he needs to fix personally and professionally to see if he ever gets back on track again.”
What do you think of Dana White’s comments on Francis Ngannou?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/7/2018.