Derrick Lewis is confident he will knock out Francis Ngannou in their potential rematch. Ngannou is likely to face Lewis for the first defense of his UFC heavyweight title in light of the ongoing public feud between the UFC and Jon Jones - who was expected to fight the winner of Miocic vs Ngannou 2 by summer of 2021.
While speaking to ESPN in a recent interview, Derrick Lewis said he would knock out Francis Ngannou in the first exchange of their fight if Ngannou came forward aggressively. The Black Beast's prediction stems from Ngannou's performance against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249. A few seconds into the fight, the Predator crowded Rozenstruik with winging shots from a square stance and the chin held high. Ngannou walked past Rozenstruik's shots to score a quick knockout win. Lewis believes Ngannou's chin will not hold up against him in a similar situation. Derrick Lewis said:
"I'll say the first exchange... I'll knock him out in first exchange... I see that in my heart. Especially if he comes out the way he has been coming out to all these other guys, especially if he comes out like he did against Rozenstruik... then I'll knock him out for sure."
Francis Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) became UFC heavyweight champion by defeating Stipe Miocic via second-round knockout in March 2021. UFC's public feud with his potential next opponent Jon Jones over fighter pay has inevitably landed Derrick Lewis in discussion for the next shot at the 265lbs title.
Ranked No.2 in the official rankings, Derrick Lewis (25-7-1NC MMA, 16-5 UFC) is riding a four-fight winning streak. His last fight was a second-round knockout win over Curtis Blaydes in February 2021.
Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis 1 was a less than impressive affair
Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis are two of the hardest-hitting heavyweights in UFC history. 22 of the combined 27 UFC wins between them have come by way of knockout. However, both fighters failed to impress with their performances when they fought at UFC 226 in July 2018.
More often than not, fighters with similar attributes tend to nullify each other's weapons. Ngannou and Lewis were mindful of the knockout power they possessed and chose to stay away from power shots for the majority of the fight. A combined 31 strikes landed in the fight amid boos from the crowd. Lewis won the lackluster bout via unanimous decision. However, the outcome of the fight was quickly forgotten due to the manner of victory.