Francis Ngannou was scheduled to take part in a huge heavyweight bout with potential title picture implications at UFC 215, facing off with former champion Junior dos Santos. But those plans were ultimately halted a few weeks ago, when dos Santos was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation.
With the biggest fight of his career taken away from him, Ngannou now has not much going on. But rather than let the rest of the heavyweight scene play out in upcoming matches, Ngannou is looking for a ticket to the top. On a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Ngannou expressed his desire to get back in the UFC Octagon again, especially if it’s with UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic.
“After [dos Santos] was pulled from the card, all of the top-10, almost the top-15 was booked,” Ngannou said. “The only one available was [Alistair] Overeem and he [decided to take some time off for his family]. But if he’s open for some event in December or November, I don’t know, I’m thinking of everyone.
“They can give me Stipe right now. I want Stipe. I want to go for the belt and then after I can take all these guys who become the contenders, the potential challengers, but yes I’ll take the belt first. I didn’t have enough fights, but now we need to go forward.”
Ngannou has won all but one of his 11 MMA bouts thus far, and he’s currently 5-0 in the UFC. Back in January, Ngannou picked up a TKO victory in just 1:32 over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. His momentum wave set up the big showdown with dos Santos, but the USADA violation leaves that bout for naught.
As Ngannou points out, he and Miocic are currently both not booked. Miocic, though, is still in a contract dispute with the MMA promotion. There were some preliminary reports that the UFC was looking into a bout between Miocic and Jon Jones — something that Ngannou claims Miocic wanted. But any thought of that bout happening looks dim thanks to a potential anti-doping violation from Jones following UFC 214.
“It’s not Stipe or nothing, but I deserve Stipe. I want Stipe,” Ngannou said. “That’s my choice. And if they say, ‘No, you cannot have Stipe,’ then yes, I now have nothing to do, I’ll just do my best. But I want Stipe.”
Original story: MMA Fighting