Francis Ngannou has teased a potential switch to boxing and has eyed Tyson Fury as a future opponent and much more — Fightful has all the latest combat sports news in your Monday Fightful Fix.
Francis Ngannou wants to box in the future
Francis Ngannou has only recently become the UFC heavyweight champion by knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 but the new champion isn't resting on his laurels. The Cameroonian has admitted that a future fight in boxing is definitely in his future. Ngannou had started his career pursuing boxing until he was guided towards an MMA career and he told TMZ Sports that he intends on boxing in the coming years.
"Absolutely. I'm open to that. Remember boxing was my primary dream and I still have the fire, the dream inside me and I believe at some point, I'm gonna make a step."
"The Predator" has already eyed who we would like to fight but admits he wants nothing to do with Mike Tyson. But there is a Tyson he would be keen on.
"I don't want to fight Mike Tyson but I would like to fight another heavyweight boxer as such as Tyson Fury."
Michael Chandler says his "sixth sense" will protect him from Charles Oliveira’s submissions
Michael Chandler (no.4) is not anticipating Charles Oliveira (no.3) getting the better of him on the ground when they face off at UFC 261 for the vacant lightweight championship. Chandler has fought many top lightweights in his career and says he has never been close to being submitted due to a "sixth sense" he has. And although "Iron" is well aware of the threats the Brazilian possess, the former Bellator lightweight champion only sees one outcome.
“Charles Oliveira poses a lot of threats on the ground, but I’ve never even come close to getting submitted. I’ve got kind of a sixth sense when it comes to the ground game to not be submitted. The best way I would like to go out there and finish him is just to hit him as hard as I can numerous times on the feet," he said to TMZ Sports (ht MMA Mania). "Keep the fight standing, put him in panic mode, knock him out in the first round. If not the first round, dig a little deeper and go into the second, go into the third. He’s a guy who starts to slow down, especially once you start putting the pressure on him. I’m very good at keeping my foot on the gas for 25 minutes, I’ve done it a dozen times now. So man, go out there and knock him out in the first or second round, get my hand raised in front of a huge Houston crowd on May 15th, collect my paycheck, kiss my wife, and figure out what’s next.”
Colby Covington questions the UFC’s decision to “reward” Jorge Masvidal with a title shot
Colby Covington is the odd man out when it comes to the UFC welterweight title picture. "Chaos" was unsuccessful in his attempt to defeat Kamaru Usman and lost via TKO but has fought since and stopped Tyron Woodley to bounce back from that disappointment. Covington has had to watch another rival Jorge Masvidal get a rematch with the Nigerian despite also losing a unanimous decision to Usman. Covington has pointed to even Ben Askren, yet another fighter who is less than keen on him, as someone who also believes the rematch with Usman vs. Masvidal makes no sense.
“You know, me and Ben (Askren) have had a feud. You know he’s always talked sh*t about me in the media and we’ve exchanged some not so nice words in the past, but the fact that he is coming out and showing support for me shows, you know, that I deserve it (a title shot) more than anybody right now.” Covington explained to Helen Yee (h/t BJPenn.com). “He knows that I’ve been putting in the work and he knows that Jorge Masvidal is scared to fight me. Since he ran from me for six months and was scared to fight me, how do you reward that guy and give him another title shot? It doesn’t make sense. You know I think the fans aren’t happy with it based on their comments and their support of me. They want to see me back out there. They know I’m going to put on the best show inside the Octagon and outside of the Octagon. So, you know, hopefully Ben (Askren) goes out there and knocks out Jake Paul. I’m just sick of hearing him talking man. He’s just running his mouth and there’s no substance behind anything he says.”
Michael Bisping hoping to commentate UFC card with “The Godfather” Joe Rogan
Michael Bisping has grown into his role as a UFC commentator and become one of the best broadcasters the company has. Bisping works mostly fight nights due to the PPV booth mainly being Daniel Cormier, Joe Rogan, and Jon Anik. And the former middleweight champion has admitted that he hopes to gate-crash that status quo so he can achieve his goal of commentating alongside UFC veteran Joe Rogan.
“Joe Rogan (when asked who he would like to commentate beside). I haven’t worked with Joe Rogan yet. I would love to. Of course, Joe – he’s the OG or the Godfather, if you will, of UFC commentators. I remember the first time I commentated – it was Fortaleza, Brazil, January 2019, and Joe actually sent me a really nice text message afterwards. He said, ‘Mike, I really love what you’re doing, some really interesting perspective tonight. Looking forward to working with you one day.’ And to hear that from Joe – yeah, it meant a lot to me. So thank you, Joe,” Bisping told MMA Junkie. “But I haven’t gotten to work with him yet. Of course, Joe only does the pay-per-views and there’s a pecking order. It’s Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, next line is ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier), and that’s just the way it works. There’s a hierarchy, and fair enough.”
Aleksandar Rakic calls Thiago Santos an ‘easy win’, Santos responds
Aleksander Rakic (no.2) has upset his UFC 259 opponent Thiago Santos (no.4) by calling him an "easy win." Rakic defeated Santos by a unanimous decision at UFC 259 and has called for a fight with current champion Jan Blachowicz after his win over a former challenger like "Maretta" under his belt now. Rakic had admitted he expected a more aggressive version of Santos and it was here he caused a stir with the Brazilian.
“The focus was on an aggressive guy,” Rakic said to MMA Fighting. “I respect Thiago and I think you can respect your opponent before the fight and after the fight, but, in the cage or in the octagon, I’m not gonna respect you. And I think his problem was that maybe he was respecting me in the cage. That’s the reason he let me do my thing. It was for me, like, easy victory, because I showed maybe 60 percent of my skills.
“I was in the best shape of my life. I do every scenario in the fight. I trained so hard and I was ready for everything. But, you know, you need always two guys to dance, you know? But, anyways, like I said, a victory is a victory and I’m very happy about this. This is one step closer to the belt that I want to.”
These comments have upset Santos, who took to his Twitter to slam Rakic for his comments.
Hey @rakic_ufc Easy fight because I did not ko your ass! I understand that when that doesnt happen it is already a victory for my opponents!— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) April 4, 2021
Iuri Lapicus: "I can’t wait to show Eddie Alvarez my potential"
Iuri Lapicus is set to take on Eddie Alvarez at ONE on TNT I. The Moldovan prospect holds an impressive 14-1 record and is relishing the opportunity to challenge himself against a veteran like Alvarez. Alvarez has dismissed Lapicus before the fight and said he doesn't have the experience to defeat him. And the Moldovan admits that "The King Of The Underground" has a point.
“He is totally right. The numbers speak by themselves. I don’t have his experience. But if they (ONE Championship) chose me to fight him, it means that I’ve proven something," Lapicus said to Low Kick MMA. "Even if I don’t have twenty years of career. So I have the potential to overcome this challenge. I can’t wait to show Eddie Alvarez my potential.”
Anthony Johnson believes Jon Jones has too many weapons for Francis Ngannou
Anthony Johnson is backing Jon Jones to overcome the power of Francis Ngannou should they fight at heavyweight. Johnson has cited Jones' technique as a major factor and admitted that his fight with Daniel Cormier, as an example of how a heavy hitter like Rumble can be schooled by a fighter with more of a well-rounded skill-set.
“I think Jon (Jones) just has too many weapons,” Anthony Johnson told Helen Yee (h/t MMA News). “His team is great. His IQ is up there. You know he may not… And everybody was so hung-up on just knockouts. You know knockouts by Francis (Ngannou), which I get. I get that. But, there is still more to it than just a knockout. You can be a knockout artist and just get beat up. Like ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier) isn’t a knockout artist, and he beat me up.”
Johnson admits that although having power is a major asset, sometimes a repertoire of moves is a better avenue for success. Johnson predicts a Jones win via decision should they fight, once Ngannou doesn't land with one of the heavy strikes he can throw.
“You know, you don’t have to knock everybody out to be great. And you know, Jon I think has all of the tools to beat Francis. I won’t say that he will finish him. But I think he can beat Francis. But, if Francis gets that one (punch), it can be a long night. Well, a short night for Jon if he gets hit," Johnson said. "But people say that Jon hasn’t been tested, or that his jaw hasn’t been tested. Jon Jones has fought the who’s who of mixed martial arts. People aren’t realizing that. He’s just made it look easy because of his skill. So, I wish people would stop discrediting the man.”
Gerald Meerschaert predicts finish over Bartosz Fabiński
Gerald Meerschaert will face off against Bartosz Fabiński at UFC Vegas 24 and is hoping to curb a two-fight losing streak. Meerschaert lost in just 17 seconds to Khamzat Chimaev in his last fight and cites a lack of time to prepare as the reason. Fabinski is 3-2 in the UFC and Meerschaert is predicting a finish when they face-off.
“I know that guy is gonna come forward, he’s gonna lean very very heavily to his right, my left, which is a terrible idea against someone who throws really hard kicks and he’s gonna paw with that front hand,” Meerschaert explained to James Lynch for MMASucka.com. “After he listens to this, maybe he’ll try and duck and throw an overhand like you saw [Ian] Heinisch do and then he’s gonna go for my legs and most likely what’s gonna happen is I’m gonna down block on him, I’m gonna get the front headlock position, I’m gonna start tagging him in the face, he’s gonna take another bad shot to his knees, I’ll circle behind him and if I don’t TKO him, I’m gonna grab his neck.”
Jordan Newman dedicates Bellator 255 victory to mother: "I did this one for you"
Jordan Newman defeated Branko Busick in the preliminary opener at Bellator 255 by TKO in the second-round. The win came in Newman’s first fight since Bellator 229 in October 2019. The delay in his return to the cage was caused by a number of different issues, including the death of his mother in late 2020 was among them.
“We had the (fight) that was canceled here a year ago,” Newman told the media at the post-fight news conference (h/t MMA Junkie). “Then(there were) a bunch of personal things. I guess I want to say I want this fight to be a tribute to my mom. She just passed right after Thanksgiving. I did this one for you. That’s what this one was for.”
Despite entering the fight with a heavy heart, Newman said he didn’t struggle to focus on the task at hand. He thinks his mother would’ve wanted it that way.
“No, it wasn’t tough. That’s what she would’ve wanted, so that’s what I did.”
Vicente Luque hopes Kamaru Usman remains UFC champ until he reaches title shot
Vicente Luque (no.6) is hoping to be the one to dethrone current welterweight king Kamaru Usman. Luque (20-7-1) only has a loss to Stephen Thompson (no.5) in his last 10 fights but after defeating a former champion in Tyron Woodley, Luque is eyeing a future crack at the Nigerian and become the one to defeat Usman for the title.
“I definitely want him to keep that title until I get there unless it’s against Gilbert Burns, because Gilbert Burns is my good friend and we’re always helping each other every single fight,” Luque said to MMA Junkie. “If he gets that opportunity again, I will be helping him out and I will be hoping for him to be the new champ. In any other case, I would love for Kamaru to still be the champion. We have a great friendship, as well, and we trained many years together. I know how hard he works, I know how much he has been putting into his career. I know what kind of fighter he is and he can really be one of the greatest welterweights ever."
“I would love to eventually get to fight him and have him be the champion and dethrone him. It would be something amazing and I know it would be one of my toughest fights ever. I know Kamaru is a beast. I would love to have him as the champion and have a fight against him.”