Although Stipe Miocic has taken out the last five men he’s faced, and he could set a new record for heavyweight title defenses at UFC 220, the champ believes the promotion’s rooting for Francis Ngannou.
Miocic has been booked to fight the rising star at the January 20th card, which will go down in Boston. The bout is going down after Miocic finally came to terms with the UFC on a new contract, which, his management had relayed was necessary before he fought again.
Well, Miocic was a guest on the latest “MMA Hour” this week. When he was asked if he believes the UFC wants Ngannou to win their upcoming bout, on account of all the hype Ngannou’s received, the champ said this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Obviously, for sure,” Miocic said. “Listen, I feel a little bit disrespected, but I’m not going to dwell on it.”
It is true that Ngannou has received a pretty sizeable push from the UFC, and Dana White has heaped praise on the heavyweight for months. But, really, if Miocic goes out and halts Ngannou’s rise, his drawing power will reach new heights.
Of course, the reason Ngannou has been capturing so much of the spotlight, is because he’s finished all six of the men he’s faced in the Octagon, In his last outing, Ngannou recorded one of the most vicious KOs in recent memory, when he demolished Alistair Overeem with a crushing left uppercut.
Miocic also had this to say about all the hype Ngannou has behind him, and the latter’s, fearsome punching power:
“He’s got more hype on him I guess,” Miocic said. “The guy hits super hard. We’re making a big thing about it. I’ve fought some good guys, you know? That’s how we are. I’m not much of a trash talker I just like to fight, that’s what I do.”
“…The best guys he’s faced, I knocked them out two years ago. So, whatever.”
January 20th can’t get here soon enough right? The night will also see Daniel Cormier look to defend the light-heavyweight belt against Volkan Oezdemir, and Rory MacDonald attempt to end the reign of Bellator welterweight champ, Douglas Lima.