'The Predator' Francis Ngannou will attempt to dethrone UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for the second time in his career. The two will square off in the main event of UFC 260 this Saturday.
The previous fight between the two ended in Francis Ngannou receiving his first loss inside the UFC Octagon. The Predator faced Miocic in a title fight at UFC 220 back in 2018. Before the fight with Miocic, Francis Ngannou had been able to finish all his opponents inside the first two rounds.
However, Stipe Miocic, being one of the most intelligent fighters in the heavyweight division, executed his gameplan and handled Francis Ngannou brilliantly.
Miocic did his best to keep away from the devastating shots that Francis Ngannou uses to knock his opponents out. The champion also mixed grappling and striking efficiently, tiring Ngannou out in the process. Ngannou was visibly fatigued and exhausted as he was not used to going past the opening rounds and Stipe Miocic went on to win the bout via unanimous decision.
Dan Hardy describes how the fight against Stipe Miocic affected Francis Ngannou
MMA analyst and former fighter Dan Hardy noted, on the latest edition of The Dan Hardy Breakdown Show, that exhaustion may limit the capacity at which Francis Ngannou fights. Hardy referenced Ngannou's fight against Derrick Lewis following the bout with Stipe Miocic. Ngannou was uncharacteristically timid and hesitant when he faced Lewis.
Explaining how the fight against Miocic affected Ngannou, Dan Hardy said:
"What comes next (after the Miocic fight), is Francis Ngannou stepping in there against Derrick Lewis and having one of the slowest fights we have ever seen in the Octagon. Just to put it into context, in over 15 minutes, he landed just 11 strikes."
"In Ngannou's next fight, it was a rematch against Curtis Blaydes. It lasted 45 seconds and he landed 13 strikes. H was very timid in that Derrick Lewis fight... To me, it felt like he didn't want to be tired again," added Dan Hardy.
Describing what a fighter goes through after complete exhaustion, Dan Hardy said:
"It's a horrible feeling. Your lungs are burning, your body is not responding, your head is just trying to talk you out of continuing. There's a lot of internal struggles going on. I'm sure it's the first time he (Ngannou) ever experienced it."
Hardy went on to note that Ngannou got over that hump of fear of exhaustion as he associated that feeling only with fighting Stipe Miocic. Ngannou went on to put together another 4-fight win streak after his loss to Derrick Lewis.