The highly anticipated bout between Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou at UFC 226 last night, ended up being one of the worst, heavyweight fights in recent memory. According to UFC boss man Dana White, however, Ngannou’s “ego”, is a key reason why…
Due to the aggressive style of each man, and because both hit like trucks, the consensus was that Lewis – Ngannou would be a short lived, violent affair. But, the fight featured few, if any memorable exchanges at all. According to Fight Metric, Lewis landed 20 strikes in the bout, while Ngannou only scored with 11.
During the fight, Lewis was reportedly heard telling his corner that his back was giving him trouble. It’s an issue that the heavy handed fighter has dealt with in recent years. But, so far, we haven’t heard anything, in terms of Ngannou having some sort of injury.
Well, White was of course asked to weigh-in on the awful fight, during the post-fight presser. The UFC President proceeded to assign much of the blame for the terrible scrap to Ngannou (quote via MMA Junkie):
“Big time,” White said. “I can tell you that his ego absolutely ran did run away with him. The minute that happens to you in the fight game, you start to fall apart. I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was so out of control.”
“Ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou”
It will be interesting to see if Ngannou has a response to this accusation. Further, it’s worth remembering that White, the UFC marketing machine, and the media as well, heaped a ton of praise on Ngannou, as he bombed his way into a title fight with Stipe Miocic this past January. So, it wouldn’t be too, too surprising, if in fact, Ngannou’s confidence is inflated.
And in terms of Lewis, White offered this take:
“He’s a fun guy – he’s funny,” White said. “When he gets in there and throws, the fights are exciting. But he always has problems with his back. And that’s going to be a problem. You don’t want to go in there with a bad back against (Daniel) Cormier. But I like him, and I don’t think his stock dropped at all.
White may feel that way, but let’s face it, casual fans who don’t know Lewis has back issues, aren’t going to be calling for him to fight for the title, based off that performance. Aside from Brock Lesnar, Curtis Blaydes is likely in the pole position now, in terms of a title shot.