Undefeated Bellator heavyweight Steve Mowry was well aware that former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou entered free agency, and that there’s a chance Ngannou could enter the fray in the Bellator heavyweight division. He’s still focused on his task, regardless of how great that might be for Mowry and the promotion.
Mowry takes on former PFL heavyweight tournament winner Ali Isaev on Saturday at Bellator 290 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. As far as Ngannou’s exit from the UFC goes, Mowry was impressed with Ngannou’s approach to taking a stance for his fellow fighter — as he said on The MMA Hour days after the news was revealed by UFC President Dana White.
“It’s really interesting to learn that in his make-or-break meeting, one thing he made a push was for a fighter’s advocate,” Mowry explained to MMA Fighting. Jon Jones, one of the fighters, was expected to push for the fight. He was a guy, so it was no surprise that Jon Jones didn’t say anything about the matter during the mysterious fighters’ union talks. It was interesting that he didn’t have an answer. I was able to see his point of view.
“All these years later, we have Francis Ngannou in a similar situation, and if what the reports say are true, he was in a position where he could’ve said, ‘F*** all you [fighters], I’ll ride this out.’ But instead, he wanted to advocate for the athletes. That’s cool. If he was stepping up to kick in the door for his fellow man, especially for those who don’t hold a candle to what he has accomplished, I think that’s really cool.”
Mowry, Isaev and they have sparred at Kill Cliff FC in the past. They had some tough rounds. Mowry is aware of this and knows that he must focus his entire attention on Isaev. He does not need to be distracted by the news about Ngannou, a huge name, joining the division.
” I haven’t really thought about that too much,” Mowry stated of Ngannou. Mowry said that Ngannou was a huge target of Bellator.
Isaev will be making his promotional debut. This is his first fight since he won the PFL heavyweight tournament, December 2019,. He stopped Jared Rosholt at the fourth round. The win improved his overall record to 9-0.
The 30-year-old Mowry is unbeaten in 11 pro fights, finishing all 10 of his victories inside the distance. In his most recent outing, Mowry only got to compete for 54 seconds as an accidental eye poke in his Bellator 284 fight with Valentin Moldavsky in August led to the bout being ruled a no-contest.
With that glance in his rearview mirror, Mowry is ready to make a splash when it comes time for Mowry’s former trainer and future opponent.
“Steve Mowry wins in his most violent and spectacular fight,” Mowry said.