Francis Ngannou of the most severe and recent examples of how brutal MMA is and how forgetful fans are. Just before UFC 220, he was primed to be the next big thing and we were already planning mega fights with Brock Lesnar. After Stipe Miocic stifled him, it’s like he disappeared in the minds of the UFC and the public. His boxing coach Dewey Cooper vows that this won’t last long. Ngannou will learn from his mistakes and come back even better.
“I got one word to describe [Francis Ngannou]: Phenomenal. We had an off night and we all felt that night, that Francis at his worst still couldn’t be stopped. That’s all I can say about that. Francis at his best won’t be defeated and him at his worst could not even be stopped. We got the best heavyweight in UFC couldn’t stop a guy who was just not at his best that night. Francis man, he’s phenomenal and he will definitely be back stronger than ever. […] Stipe was at his best and we just weren’t at our best and there will be improvement from that.”
Unfortunately it didn’t go on my way last night but I learned some different aspects of this sport and I’ll come back stronger! TRUST ME ☝ . #UFC220
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) January 21, 2018
“There will be experience and knowledge from that [loss] and Francis will definitely be a UFC heavyweight champion that’s for sure. The team he has now, with or without them, he’s something special. He has everything. He has all that inside of him. He’s going to be that guy, believe that. The experience he learned was very valuable and it sure won’t happen again just from having that experience. We all know what happened and he will be better for it for sure. We will all be better for it.” – Coach Dewey Cooper speaking on the Slip n’ Dip Podcast via MMA NYTT.
He’s absolutely right. Stipe Miocic has put away Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem and even Junior dos Santos, but he couldn’t finish Francis Ngannou. Despite being controlled and pushed into exhausting deep waters, that’s a great accomplishement in-and-of-itself for the terrifying heavyweight contender. All he needs is to come back and pull off another highlight reel knockout and the fans will be on the hype train again.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/13/2018.