If he beats Francis Ngannou this coming weekend, Stipe Miocic could have the most successful light heavyweight in UFC history as his next opponent. Of course, provided Jon Jones finally finds common ground with the UFC leaders and thus breaks the break and finally afford to his fans his heavyweight debut.
Stipe is well aware of how big and important a fight with Jones would be for his legacy, but in the manner of a true champion and with a focus on the next opponent, Miočić refused deeper discussions on this topic. "Right now, I'm just interested in fighting Francis.
That's all I care about. I'm not going to bother with Jones until I get the job ahead of me," Stipe said in an interview with MMA Fighting. July 2018, August 2019, then August again, but this time in 2020 ... Miočić played the last three matches against one and the same opponent, today retired Daniel Cormier.
How does it feel now that he has left that trilogy behind? "I'm happy with how it ended. He was a great opponent, we had a good trilogy and I think people liked it." Now follows a new exam - a rematch with Francis, which in their first meeting was completely dominated and defeated by a convincing referee's decision.
"This fight isn't going to look like the first one. Why? Because he's definitely become a better fighter, but I've become one too. A lot will change." "I'll try to have an even more dominant performance and finish the fight earlier.
Yes, he's progressed and hits hard, and this is a difficult category and anything can happen. " A lot of people talk about that ‘Predator’ progress, but the fact is that in the last four appearances he has recorded only 162 seconds of fighting and in doing so has stopped four different rivals.
Is there any evidence, then, that Stipe believes Francis has really progressed? "I really think he is better than last time. He has a great coach behind him, and he is also in a great team. They definitely worked on him and improved him as a fighter," Miocic explained.
Ngannou on his fights
Ngannou, let’s mention, trains the most for this rematch with Eric Nicksick, a well-known coach from Xtreme Couture Hall. And where others made mistakes when they find themselves in a cage with Francis; are they simply fighting the wrong way? "Possibly ...
Every fighter is different and everyone has different tactics, but ... Look, I'm not in their corner ... I have my coaches and teammates. I listen to them, I progress because of them and I'm here where I am. " Years are just a number ...
“I definitely feel progress, I’m stronger than ever before, faster, more efficient, and in better shape,” the 38-year-old Ohio champion believes. "I will win, then raise my hands and leave the cage with my belt. Nothing will change," Stipe added at the end.