UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou has given his thoughts on the first time he fought Stipe Miocic back at UFC 220.
The two men fought for the UFC Heavyweight Championship with Ngannou riding an insane amount of momentum after his knockout win over Alistair Overeem. In the end, though, Miocic was able to grind out the win and retain the belt, revealing that Ngannou had poor cardio and lack of wrestling ability at the time.
During a recent conversation with Joe Rogan, Ngannou admitted that he doesn’t even recognize that version of himself as he prepares to lock horns with Miocic once again at UFC 260.
“Yes, a very quick rise,” Ngannou said, looking back (via MMA Fighting). “I didn’t spend enough time in the Octagon to have that experience. Even though it was almost four years since I’d been doing the sport but I didn’t spend enough time in the Octagon to have that experience. I think in one night I covered more than what I’d been spending in the Octagon for the rest of my career.
“Some people get here when they’ve been having athlete lives for a long time,” Ngannou continued. “Maybe wrestling, maybe doing some different sport at school, at college, but I never got into that stuff. Growing up I was just finding my way to survive and then I end up finding myself in somewhere that I never been there so the experience was just crazy.
“For the Stipe fight, I think I rush for the first round,” Ngannou added. “Now I’m like, ‘Damn, I had five rounds. Why should I rush and run out of gas?’ Looking at that fight, I watch that fight, I see the guy look like me, but I don’t recognize myself because it’s not the way that I fight. I look back at other fights and it looks like two different persons. The way that I used to fight I was kind of calm, I’d push the fight and let myself get into fight and if there’s an opportunity – most of the time my opponent will be the first to attack. But this one I just rushed in there. So I’m like, I should have calmed down.”
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