Randy Couture, a former UFC champion who is a well-known name in the UFC, gave his opinion on Ngannou in an exclusive interview for givemesport "Francis [Ngannou] is a great guy, he's got an amazing story; I mean, he's a big, lovable teddy bear - honestly, don't tell anybody!
"But I think his diligence and work ethic is what stands out to me. We made sure the gym was open for him every day because he wasn't sure when he was going to get the nod to step in the cage." "And he was there every single day, working on his wrestling very diligently to go with that amazing power and athleticism that he brings to the cage.
He's a beast, an absolute beast." Couture revealed the differences between the first and second fights "I think that first takedown attempt set the tone for the rest of the fight," Couture continued. "Obviously that was the difference in the first fight, I think Francis got taken down four times over the course of that fight, and had no answer for the wrestling at all."
"And so he went back to the drawing board, he went to work with Eric [Nicksick], he started figuring out how to sprawl, figuring out how to scramble and put in a pretty good, pretty good double leg together for himself as well."
"I think [Ngannou] stuffing that first takedown, taking Stipe's back and landing some big shots from there really set the tone for how the rest of the fight unfolded" "And I think Stipe knew then he was dealing with a completely different animal.
It wasn't the same guy that he fought the first time."
Ngannou's next opponent is Derrick Lewis who will have a difficult task. However, Couture believes that Ngannou will rule the UFC for a long time and that his peak has just begun.
"Derrick [Lewis] is a huge slugger and a very interesting guy. But I think Francis is really stepping into his prime right now. I think we're gonna see him at the top of that heap for a long time, I don't have any doubt about that."
"I was kind of hoping that the UFC would find a way to make the Jon Jones fight happen next, you know, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. "So I don't know. We'll see. If it's Derrick, I'm sure Francis will be happy to get back in there and do that again."