Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou had an active Thursday. Around 10 pm Croatian time, a press conference was held in Las Vegas, followed by a confrontation between the main actors of UFC 260, an event that awaits us in the early hours of Sunday.
Stipe is the current champion, the most successful in UFC history, and as such is considered by many to be the best heavyweight to ever step into a sport called MMA. “That means I’m doing something with the coaches and the team in the right way,” Stipe said on the subject.
In front of him is again a rival whom he convincingly defeated in early 2018. "He's definitely gotten better. I knew we'd meet again someday. Amazing fight awaits us." Jon Jones moves into the heavyweight division.
Does he deserve to attack the title right away and does the thought of that match excite you? "It's great that he moved and that we got a new character in the category, but the focus is on Francis, and after that, we'll talk about other things."
Two wins over Ngannou or those two over Daniel Cormier? "A win is a win. The trilogy was great, but Francis progressed. I don't know. I'll tell you when we're done with this." The biggest lesson you learned about yourself from three matches with DC? "Don't lose the first fight from him," Stipe joked, adding, "Be smart, patient and listen to the coaches.
I forgot about tactics and he got me." We hear a lot about Francis ’progress, and where do you see your progress? "In a lot of things. No matter how good you are, there are always holes in your game. And you want to fix that."
Is he particularly proud of any of his records? "I have no idea what records I'm holding, now you've listed some. I think I've heard of bonuses, I had this one in punches until Max (Holloway) broke it. I don't care about records, I worry about winning," Stipe said, and then UFC President Dana White pulled out a paper and listed, "Most bonuses, most hits, and most title defenses (all in the heavyweight division)."
"Stipe was better that night, but I hate watching that fight. I made a lot of mistakes, I wasn't my own, I even fought without emotion. But this time things will be different," Francis began, recalling the first duel.
Did you expect Stipe would still hold the belt? "Absolutely, I've always wanted to fight him again. I want to avenge that defeat and prove I'm the best." The biggest difference between the first match and the one that follows us now? "Approach.
I asked myself a lot of questions then, like how to fight in multiple rounds ... Despite the defeat, I was in a way pleased to realize that some things were feasible." Is Stipe the best heavyweight ever? "There's no discussion about that. He's defended the title more than anyone in the heavyweight. Yes, he's the best right now."