One of those who would agree with that assessment is UFC President Dana White, who says the heavyweight bout was easily the worst contest on the card.
“The card was so bad, we had one bad fight – what are you going to do?” White said at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference.
Lewis was victorious via unanimous decision in that encounter, handing Ngannou his second loss under the UFC banner.
Although Lewis was working through a back injury throughout the fight, one thing the competitor knows is that the win didn’t do any favors for himself.
“It was a terrible performance,” Lewis said at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference. “I know I say that a lot but it was a real bad performance. I know for sure I don’t deserve a title shot. I believe it hurt me more than it helped me, even though I got the win. I believe it set me probably about two fights back.”
Ngannou has yet to comment on the fight, but White believes the heavyweight fighter’s ego is out of control.
“Horrible,” White told MMA Junkie. “I think that he had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him. Everybody was talking about him. I thought he was going to be the next guy. I think his ego ran away with him. Big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away. The minute that happens to you in the fight game you see what happens – you start to fall apart. I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization and this guy’s ego was so out of control. Before the Stipe fight he took off and went to France. Didn’t even really train for that fight. And you see the results. Well, then he comes back and he did train, but the ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
While Ngannou hasn’t won a fight since late 2017, while Lewis has won eight of his last nine under the UFC banner.
I am not proud of my last performance. I have carried my fear from the last fight to this one. I completely understand the frustration & anger that it has caused to my fans, coaches, teammates, family and friends and I am truly sorry for that. I won't let everyone down again. All I can do now is prove myself and make you proud again. #UFC226