- Francis Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic via 2nd-round knockout this weekend.
- Everyone is now trying to predict who Francis Ngannou’s next opponent will be.
- Jon Jones and Derrick Lewis seem to be the two most likely options for the new champion.
This past Saturday, Francis Ngannou shocked the world by earning a second-round knockout over the heavyweight GOAT, Stipe Miocic. Members of the MMA media are now trying to predict who will be next for “The Predator.” Today, we’ll take a close look at Dana White’s comments about Francis Nganou’s next opponent.
Nothing has been made official yet for Ngannou. There are several possible options for him to take on next, though.
Here’s what you need to know.
The New Heavyweight Champion Might be the Scariest Ever
The UFC’s heavyweight division has always been an exciting one. Becoming a champion in this division is extraordinarily hard. Remaining the champion in this division is even harder. There has never been a truly dominant champion at heavyweight in the UFC.
Stipe Miocic is widely considered to be the greatest of all-time at heavyweight. He holds the record for most consecutive title defenses and has wins over true legends of the sport including Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Fabricio Werdum. This Saturday, Miocic took on Francis Ngannou from their first bout back in 2018.
The majority of online sports betting sites had Stipe listed as the slight underdog heading into this bout. Many were confused at this when considering Miocic dominated their first bout. The oddsmakers clearly recognized how powerful Francis Ngannou was on the feet.
These odds proved to be correct. It took Ngannou just over one round to score a knockout victory over Miocic. He landed a picture-perfect left hook to earn the stoppage and cemented himself as one of the scariest heavyweight fighters in all of MMA.
It’s hard to imagine who can now give Ngannou trouble. He has won five-straight fights by knockout and showed some major improvements in his ground game against Stipe. There are still a few challengers left for him to take on, though.
UFC President Dana White has been discussing some of the next possible opponents for Francis. Let’s look at some of the most likely options!
Breaking Down the Best Options to be Francis Ngannou’s Next Opponent
Francis Ngannou is a true force in the heavyweight division. He has only lost twice during his UFC career and has won each of his bouts via stoppage. Ngannou now holds the heavyweight title and seems like a fighter that will hold onto the belt for years.
There are now many trying to figure out who is next for Francis. There are some exciting options on the table, yet it will take time for the UFC to finalize this bout. It seems like two names are at the top of the list to face off against Francis next.
The main option appears to be Jon Jones. The sport’s GOAT relinquished his light-heavyweight title last year and has been preparing for a move up to heavyweight ever since. This week, Jon took to social media and claims he’s open to being Francis Ngannou’s next opponent as long as he is paid accordingly.
I am going to try to remain faithful. There’s still time for the UFC to do the right thing. I am supposed to be seeing a fight proposal next week. Fingers are crossed, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for everyone involved.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) March 28, 2021
Dana White seems to feel that Derrick Lewis is the most deserving of this title shot. If Jon is willing to fight, however, White feels that is the biggest fight that can possibly take place. You can check out his comments below.
“Derrick Lewis is the fight to make, but if Jon Jones really wants that fight, and listen, it’s one thing to go out and tweet and say you want it, and I put on the weight and this and that – do you want the fight?” White said. “I promise you we can call Derrick Lewis or one of these other heavyweights and they want the fight. If Jon Jones really wants the fight, Jon Jones knows he can get the fight. All he’s got to do is call and do it. It’s easy to say you want the fight, but if you really want the fight, Francis Ngannou is the heavyweight champion of the world right now. All he’s got to do is pick up the phone and call [UFC EVP and Chief Business Officer] Hunter [Campbell] and we can get the deal done.”
Some feel that Alexander Volkov could be an exciting matchup for Francis to take on next, as well. The Russian striker is coming off an incredible win over Alistair Overeem in his last bout. He is massive in the division and poses some trouble for the new champion.
Nothing has been made official. Stay tuned for updates on this situation over the next few months!
What’s Next for Stipe Miocic?
Fans around the world seemed torn on how this past Saturday’s title fight would play out. Many felt that Stipe would use his wrestling skills to once again take Ngannou to the floor. Obviously, that did not end up taking place.
Stipe did not immediately make a statement after his loss. Today, however, he went on Instagram to address the recent loss to Ngannou. He claims that the bout was heading in the right direction, yet his deviation from the game plan ended up costing him.
Miocic then claims he plans to take some time away from the sport. He is welcoming a new son this summer and seems content to sit on the sidelines until then. That could set him up for a fight sometime this fall or winter.
An immediate rematch with Ngannou is possible. He may have to win a fight or two before earning another crack at the belt. A matchup against Ciryl Gane would be a fun one for fans to see later this year.
No one currently knows who Francis Ngannou’s next opponent will be. The UFC’s heavyweight division is better now than ever before. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on who the champion will be taking on next.
Who do you want to see Francis defend his title against? How do you think a bout with Jon Jones would play out? Let us know in the comments section below.