UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou revealed to Heavy he “absolutely” believes Stipe Miocic vs. Jon Jones won’t happen next. In fact, the 34-year-old “Mike Tyson of MMA” told Heavy he also doesn’t expect he’ll have to pick between the two fighters himself for his own superfight. No, Ngannou fully expects to challenge Miocic next for the UFC’s heavyweight crown, then Jones right after that as his first title defense.
“Absolutely, I think I’m fighting Stipe Miocic next, then Jon Jones after,” Ngannou said.
While the UFC’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender admitted feeling a little frustrated over having to wait until March to get his title shot against Miocic, which is something UFC president Dana White revealed to the media as well as Ngannou’s manager about a month ago, Ngannou said he doesn’t feel like he’s purposely being held back by UFC officials.
Instead, Ngannou believes the long wait to his next fight is mostly about Miocic liking to take his time between fights.
“You can see over the past few years, he’s been fighting once a year,” Ngannou said.
Regardless, Ngannou said he was “100%” sure he would get the next crack at Miocic in 2021.
“I feel confident about my title fight,” Ngannou said, although the heavyweight knockout machine also admitted he wasn’t allowing himself anything but positive thoughts about the matter.
“Because when you start to think about ‘what if, what if, what if’, then it starts to mess with your mind,” Ngannou said. “Then it’s very dangerous.”
So while Ngannou waits, he’s staying busy with some of the other positive things in his life right now.
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Francis Ngannou Foundation
Ngannou opened the first combat sports gym in his native country of Cameroon back in January 2019 through the charity organization the fighter created, the Francis Ngannou Foundation.
Ngannou started working on the idea over five years ago, well before he actually made it as a UFC fighter, but Ngannou followed that dream until it became a reality, much the way the fighter had done before in his life to become a professional prizefighter.
Poverty-stricken, Ngannou sold his motorcycle when he was 22 to enroll in a neighboring city’s boxing gym. Eventually, Ngannou made his way to Paris with virtually nothing but a few belongings.
Ngannou’s foundation seeks to empower children in Cameroon allowing them to chase their dreams, too.
“I want them to have something where they can keep believing in themselves, something that will help them to feel like they are part of something, that somebody cares about them,” Ngannou said.
The fighter’s foundation does this by offering local children access to professional training, gyms, and facilities, as well as supplying them with essential training equipment, clothes, and other items that most Americans probably take for granted.
“We have over 100 kids come there. It’s free for kids,” Ngannou said. “We want to empower them and to help them believe in themselves.”
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Ngannou Partners with NOCOO
Additionally, Ngannou has become a global brand ambassador for NOCCO, one of Europe’s leading BCAA beverage companies that began operating in the United States last year.
Ngannou revealed that his loss to Miocic two years ago at UFC 220 is what eventually led the fighter to look for better ways to live.
“I stopped drinking energy drinks for about two and a half years because I was kind of concerned after the Stipe fight,” Ngannou said. “I was questioning myself about many things, about how should athletes behave, how should they eat, so I stopped drinking them.”
Ngannou revealed it was hard for him to find a replacement energy drink because most of them are packed with sugar and other ingredients he tries to avoid as a professional athlete.
In fact, Ngannou said he was skeptical when he was first approached by the company about the opportunity, but that it turned out to be the right thing for him and his goals.
“NOCCO is an energy drink, not like others though,” Ngannou said. “It has no sugar. No carbs. When you check the ingredients of other energy drinks, then check the ingredients of NOCCO, it makes you feel confident, makes you feel safe.”
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