Francis Ngannou is frustrated by the lack of title fights in the UFC heavyweight division, and the log jam of contenders it has created.
Ngannou, who is riding four-straight knockout wins over Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, is expected to get the next crack at UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in early 2021—most likely in March.
By that point, Ngannou will have gone almost a year without a fight, and he admits its difficult to stay motivated with so little action on the horizon.
“I’m in a position which is very complicated,” Ngannou told Morning Kombat (via MMA Junkie). “… I’m in my prime age and I’m wasting time without fighting, so it’s kind of frustrating.
“We have to get something to motivate us. We have to make money. We have to do something for fighting. Sometimes when you wake up, it’s really hard to go to the gym and train because you need that motivation. Like, ‘OK, I’m training, but for what? When will I fight?’ I don’t know. So you have no clue about anything and it’s tough to find motivation.”
Ngannou’s early 2021 crack at Miocic will be just the fourth heavyweight title fight since January, 2018—a figure that pales in comparison to the number of title fights in most other divisions.
The heavyweight knockout artist finds the lack of title fights in his division very frustrating.
“If things were moving on, this wouldn’t be an issue,” Ngannou said. “Many divisions have three or four title defenses a year. We’re talking about a division where there’s been one title defense a year, so it gives a lot of complicated positions for contenders. And then they get lined up and lined up, but no one really moves.
“I think if there would be three, four title defenses a year, everybody would fight for the title. It’s never over the limited amount of title defenses that have to be set – it just needs to keep on going. What they should do is find a way to make the heavyweight division move on again because right now, it’s stuck.”
Are you with Francis Ngannou on this one? Do you think the heavyweight division would benefit from an increased number of title fights?