Francis Ngannou has revealed that media obligations played a role in his first loss to Stipe Miocic. Ngannou suggested that the media obligations and his relative inexperience back then, with regard to dealing with these obligations, was too much for him.
The first fight between Francis Ngannou and UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic transpired at UFC 220 in January 2018. The fight witnessed Ngannou enter as the favorite to defeat and dethrone Miocic. Nevertheless, Ngannou ended up losing the fight via unanimous decision, as Miocic craftily mixed up his striking and grappling, primarily controlling Ngannou on the ground and outworking the latter.
The rematch between Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic is set to take place at UFC 260 (March 27th, 2021), and ahead of their all-important UFC heavyweight title fight, the UFC has released a Countdown video for the event. It's in this UFC 260: Countdown video that that Francis Ngannou provides an explanation as to how media obligations adversely affected him in their first fight. Ngannou stated –
“That was my first time dealing with media and obligations. In a short period of time, I was going to New York and Boston, doing media. From there, come to the PI,” Francis Ngannou said, recalling how he’d train at the UFC PI (Performance Institute) amid his hectic media schedule.
Francis Ngannou continued, “Right after that, I went to France. I had to set my alarm to 1 or 2 am to do a conference with Stipe.” Francis sighed and added, “That was a lot.”
“When I get to the title fight, I want that pressure to stop. Even though I wanted to win the fight, I was just like, ‘Let’s finish with this, as soon as possible’. I was just going there to smash him like he was nobody. And I never approach a fight like that. It was a different me fighting that fight.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Francis Ngannou indicated that he entered the first fight against Stipe Miocic, hoping to end the fight early, rather than being prepared for the fight to go on much longer just in case Miocic managed to survive his early onslaught.
Francis Ngannou has his sights set on the UFC heavyweight title and revenge
The Predator insinuated that he’s a much more improved fighter today and is confident about winning the UFC heavyweight title by defeating reigning champion Stipe Miocic in the rematch at UFC 260 (March 27th, 2021).
While winning the UFC heavyweight title has been one of his primary goals, Francis Ngannou has time and again emphasized that he’d also like to avenge his UFC 220 loss against Stipe Miocic.