Francis Ngannou’s UFC 226 battle with Derrick Lewis was an undeniable disappointment, as he failed to mount any meaningful offense over the course of the three-round fight, and ultimately lost a unanimous decision as a result.
After a brief period of silence, a disappointed Ngannou took to social media to explain his performance. Apparently, he let the residual nerves from his last fight — a decisive decision loss to Stipe Miocic — affect the way he fought at UFC 226.
View this post on Instagram
I am not proud of my last performance. I have carried my fear from the last fight to this one. I completely understand the frustration & anger that it has caused to my fans, coaches, teammates, family and friends and I am truly sorry for that. I won't let everyone down again. All I can do now is prove myself and make you proud again. #UFC226
“I am not proud of my last performance,” Ngannou said in his thoughtful post-fight statement. “I have carried my fear from the last fight to this one. I completely understand the frustration & anger that it has caused to my fans, coaches, teammates, family and friends and I am truly sorry for that. I won’t let everyone down again. All I can do now is prove myself and make you proud again.”
Shortly after Ngannou made this statement, he got a response from one of the sport’s biggest stars: former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
In the comments section on Ngannou’s Instagram post, Jones assured that the hulking Cameroonian-French heavyweight star had nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, he said, he was thankful for Ngannou’s performance.
See Jones response below (via The New Sweet Science on Instagram).
“Brother, please don’t feel like you let people down, no one understands what it’s like to be in here,” Jones implored Ngannou in his response. “We’re all extremely grateful for your performance, thanks for being a great entertainer. Wishing you nothing but the best brother.”
Jones wasn’t the only fighter to offer Ngannou encouragement after UFC 226, either. Ngannou also got some love from fellow UFC stars in Jimi Manuwa, Brad Tavares, and Joanne Calderwood.
What do you think of this classy bit of mentorship from the former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones? How do you think Francis Ngannou will rebound from his disappointing UFC 226 fight with Derrick Lewis?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/9/2018.