Monday, July 02, 2018

Former UFC heavyweight title contender Francis Ngannou spoke recently with Helen Yee, ahead of his fight on Saturday vs. Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. Ngannou is coming off a title shot loss vs. Stipe Miocic at  UFC 220 on January 20. 'The Predator' tells Yee that the loss was a much-needed and inevitable lesson.

“I collected a lot of experience and I learned a lot from that fight,” said Ngannou, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “This is something that would have happened anyway someday because my rise was very fast, so I jumped a lot of things. I didn’t discover some things that would catch me later. At some point, I can even say it’s the best thing that happened because if it didn’t happen in that fight, it might happen in the future. Now it happened this time. We take it, we learn it, we stand up, we move forward. That’s how life is.”

“What advantages do you think I have over Derrick Lewis? All of them. Of what you can imagine, I think I have all that over him. He said I knocked Arlovski out because he’s old — he was 37. Mark Hunt was 43 when he beat [Derrick Lewis]. Hunt made him quit. I think [Lewis] just doesn’t know what he’s saying.”

Ngannou believes that with a win over Lewis, he is one more fight away from a title shot. And there's just one think he would change in his preparation.

“I would just get my conditioning on point," he said. "What I’ve got already will be okay.”

UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier will be held on July 7, 2018, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.