Francis Ngannou has already had a unique title reign despite its youth.
The undisputed UFC heavyweight champion captured the crown in his rematch with Stipe Miocic in March at UFC 260. Knocking the Ohio native out cold in the second round, Ngannou seemed destined for a mega-fight with former light heavyweight titleholder and all-time great, Jon Jones.
When speaking to GQ, Ngannou noted how; “In this game, as far as you go, you discover how political it is. The business side of it is not very nice – it’s not as easy as the sport itself.”
Since then, The Cameroonian has yet to defend his title while an interim champion has already been established.
“Yes. I have that feeling,” Ngannou responded regarding if he feels disrespected by the UFC. “Just recently they gave me the UFC heavyweight champion, and months later they’re talking about someone else being the champion. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I’m really the champ or not. It’s really confusing.”
At UFC 265 earlier this month, Francis Ngannou sat back and watched former – but brief – training partner Ciryl Gane defeat Derrick Lewis to claim his own title and a shot at “The Predator.”
When the two meet, Francis Ngannou will not only be up against an undefeated tactician in “Bon Gamin,” but his former coach Fernand Lopez.
“Fernand’s problem is that he wants to be famous,” Ngannou said. “I can’t count how many times we had to argue about how he thought I was taking all the spotlight… Bro, what do you want? If you want the spotlight, you know where the spotlight is. It’s inside the octagon, not on the side. And you chose to be on the side. I don’t know how to [make him famous] (laughs).
“If you want to be a coach, you have to stand where the coach stands and get what the coach gets. You can’t be a coach and get what the fighter gets. It has always been like that. He mentions how many followers I have on Instagram compared to him. I’m not worried about followers on Instagram – I wish I could throw some to you, but I can’t do that. This has always been a problem, basically.”