The journey of Francis Ngannou to get in the position he is currently in has been a long one. Ever-evolving, Ngannou is a completely different man and fighter from the first time he ever fought Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title. In a recent interview with Joe Rogan, Ngannou interpreted his own personal thoughts of how the first match with Stipe went, and how he felt at that time.
Stipe Miocic is aware that Francis Ngannou has grown as an MMA fighter, however, he doesn’t believe it will change the outcome of their upcoming rematch. Regardless of Ngannou’s improvements or the vegas betting odds, Stipe still believes that he will come out on top during their main event rematch at UFC 260.
Ngannou Speaks on Improvement Since First Stipe Miocic Fight
Sitting with Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Ngannou shared his memories leading up to the first fight with Miocic.
“I had two different feelings from that fight,” said Ngannou in reference to his first fight with Stipe. “First, I was very upset and disappointed that I didn’t win the fight. When anyone is fighting for a title, they want to come out victorious. But, to be honest, I always looked at that fight and watched it and thought ‘this is good. I just learned too much in that fight.’ explained Francis.
“Even though I was at that level (of a championship competitor) in the fight, I still had a missing part in my game and in my experience.
“I remember I was asking myself, questioning myself like, ‘Okay, how does it look like to go into three rounds?’ Basically I was going into a potential five rounds and I’ve never been in three rounds. How did it look like, how is it to prepare for this kind of fight? I had a fight like six weeks earlier so I was having a lot of questions. Then after that fight I was like, ‘Okay, I get it.”
Ngannou also adds a lack of fighting experience as a factor in his first loss to Miocic. Heavyweight phenom was 6-0 in the UFC and was only competing for about four years in the promotion. He also mentioned like many other athletes has some kind of sporting background but he didn’t have any and had not much of Octagon experience heading into the Stipe Miocic fight.
“Yes, a very quick rise,” Ngannou said. “I didn’t spend enough time in the octagon to have that experience. Even though it was almost four years since I’d been doing the sport but I didn’t spend enough time in the octagon to have that experience. I think in one night I covered more than what I’d been spending in the octagon for the rest of my career.
“Some people get here when they’ve been having athlete lives for a long time. Maybe wrestling, maybe doing some different sport at school, at college, but I never got into that stuff. Growing up I was just finding my way to survive and then I end up finding myself in somewhere that I never been there so the experience was just crazy.”
Ngannou went on to say the things that he learned in the first fight. Learning to prepare himself for a 5 round fight, as well as noticing the holes in his game that need to be adjusted. Plus, because he was knocking opponents out so early in fights, he never truly took the time to train inside of the octagon properly.
Now, all of that has changed leading into the rematch with Miocic. With all of Ngannou’s improvements, it’ll be interesting to see what happens at UFC 260.