Coach: Ngannou Can Beat DC or Stipe
Fernand Lopez of MMA Factory Paris feels Francis Ngannou, his fighter, should be the next in line for the winner of UFC 241’s Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic — and he feels Ngannou can beat either.
Ngannou and Miocic previously met with the heavyweight title on the line at UFC 220. The fight saw Miocic outclass Ngannou for a unanimous decision win.
During an interview with MMAFighitng’s Eurobash podcast, however, Lopez says Ngannou is a more experienced fighter and should fair better in a rematch, as well as in a fight against Cormier.
“I think it will be different,” Lopez said. “Stipe is very good at wrestling and boxing, and I think if he’s focused the outcome could be different.”
After the loss to Miocic, Ngannou’s momentum declined, and it further did when he lost a lackluster bout with little action to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. Fortunately for Ngannou, he has rebounded with quick finishes of Curtis Blaydes and former champions Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
“I don’t need my fighters to get a loss, but I definitely think the fighters can become mature and to get good,” Lopez said. “If you look at a study of champions, the champions got good because they know [the feeling] of a loss. Having a loss is a lot of learning; you never learn like when you get [a] loss. I think those losses have made Francis completely different.
“People tend to forget what Francis has done. He pulled off a huge submission against Anthony [Hamilton] in his second or third UFC fight. People were amazed by how he could do that. People tend to forget because a couple of fights later people were talking like he didn’t have a clue about what’s going on the ground. Francis has looked amazing. When you take out the two losses that he had — he wasn’t in here, he wasn’t in a good state of mind — he has always been dangerous.”
With the three wins mentioned, and Ngannou’s current place in the UFC heavyweight rankings behind Cormier and Miocic, Lopez feels the Cameroonian fighter should be next in line for a title shot — even though if Cormier retains and doesn’t retire, there is the slim possibility of a trilogy bout with Jon Jones.
“If we take out the Jon Jones situation, Francis should be fighting for the belt right away,” Lopez said. “And I think no matter [who wins the title fight], no matter if it’s Stipe or DC, Francis is going to win the fight anyway.”
Original Story: MMAFighting