Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has named two opponents that have been the biggest test of his career.
“I didn’t have much time to realize how tough my opponents are, with the exception of Stipe Miocic,” Predator stated in a video posted on his YouTube channel. “Certainly, he was my most difficult opponent. If you have to name anyone else, it’s Curtis Blades. It was my second fight in the UFC and I was surprised at how he took the punch, how he moved as a wrestler, and how versatile he was. They were the toughest opponents I had to face.”
“In the first fight with Stipe, I underestimated him. I didn’t realize how cool he was. Obviously, I was not ready for this fight, let’s be honest. It was too early for me to fight for a title then – even though I was a top contender, I had only been in MMA for five years, and at a serious level for only two years. I didn’t know anything about this sport. I didn’t know how to prepare for championship level fights. I did everything wrong in that fight.”
This weekend, the Cameroonian heavyweight will have to go to the unification fight against the Frenchman Cyril Gan, and the UFC champion is not at all embarrassed by the fact that his former sparring partner does not know defeat.
“The fact that he is undefeated only speaks of a lack of experience. Failure is part of the learning process. Whether you are defeated or not, when the cell closes, it does not matter, because only you and your opponent remain in it.
Recall that the heavyweight title fight on January 22 will head the UFC 270 tournament in Anaheim.