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Did Daniel Cormier predict that Francis Ngannou would be heavyweight champion before his UFC debut?

UFC 218: Overeem v Ngannou
UFC 218: Overeem v Ngannou
Modified 30 Mar 2021

Although Daniel Cormier tried to convince Ariel Helwani that he predicted Francis Ngannou would become a UFC heavyweight champion years ago, this is not the case.

'The Predator' joined the promotion back in 2015. His explosive knockout power impressed even fellow heavyweight contenders, who put him as a favorite for the belt.

And Francis Ngannou has finally justified such expectations by defeating Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 last Saturday to become the new heavyweight champion.

Speaking with Helwani about the fight in their weekly podcast, Cormier said that he remembers when Ngannou made his UFC debut and that he said he would be a champion one day during the broadcast.

Helwani doubted the fact, but Cormier insisted it could be checked. ESPN then searched for the event in their records and uploaded the moment DC was talking about Ngannou.

Although the now-analyst former UFC double champion does not say that Francis Ngannou would be a champion one day, Cormier is really impressed by Ngannou's form and strength.

This is what Cormier said:

"Francis 'The Predator' Ngannou is from France, and although full-on mixed martial arts is illegal in France, that great country's brace is blessing us with Francis Ngannou. 6 ft 4, 250 lb of explosive raw power. It's almost like Ray Lewis decided to fight in MMA. The guy is an unbelievable athlete. And the heavyweight division does not get guys like this very often. So, all of us, everyone that has seen this kid fight, is very excited about his prospects inside of the octagon."

Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman seem to be united by destiny

UFC 258: Usman v Burns
UFC 258: Usman v Burns

Francis Ngannou made his debut in the promotion almost six years ago at UFC on Fox 17. He kicked off his career in the world's most famous fighting organization with a knockout over Luis Henrique.

The fight happened in the early prelims of the event, and, coincidentally, two other fighters who were present at UFC 260 were also performing in the same card that night in 2015.

Vicente Luque, who beat Tyron Woodley last Saturday and defeated Hayder Hassan at UFC on Fox 17; and Kamaru Usman, who cornered Ngannou for the Miocic rematch, was also making his UFC debut in that event against Leon Edwards.


Francis Ngannou joined Usman and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya as the third African-born UFC champion. While Ngannou is from Cameroon, the other two are Nigerian.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 02:42 IST
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