Francis Ngannou has always been one who has been very clear about the challenges he issues and it is no secret that he has been wanting to fight Alexander Volkov for a while now. His latest call-out was via a tweet where he challenged him for a fight and also congratulated him for his Decision-win over Greg Hardy at UFC Moscow.
However, there has been no response to this on Volkov's part. Instead, he showed interest in facing other fighters from the division, such as Junior dos Santos or Alistair Overeem.
MMA Junkie reported on what Ngannou had to say about that.
Francis Ngannou: "Volkov has turned me down twice"
Volkov is a veteran of 38 professional MMA fights and has a 5-1 record in UFC. But according to Ngannou, a fight with him is something that 'Drago' has been avoiding for a while now.
"Just for the record, Volkov has turned down the fight against me twice. One was July 2017 and August 2018. He clearly denied to fight me."
However, Ngannou did not forget to give credit where it was due. He was all praises for the 31-year-old Russian and called him a "smart fighter".
"I mean, it was a good fight. Fighting with some guy, big guy like Greg Hardy, of course he doesn’t have much experience, but he still hits very heavy and powerful. He handled the fight very well, very smart as always. He always fights very smart."
When asked about why Volkov might be avoiding a fight despite him being high-ranked, Ngannou admitted that he was not happy with how UFC was treating his position in the division.
Ngannou feels like the "gatekeeper" of Heavyweight
Ngannou is clearly frustrated at how the promotion has made him look like the necessary hurdle only, as anyone wanting a title shot would have to go through him, but he himself is being denied a shot at the Championship.
"The UFC have made it clear for everybody that I’m who you have to fight if you want to fight for the title. It seems like I’m just there to be, to go to the gate. That’s how it looks now. If they want to fight for the title, they have to fight me, but how about me fighting for the title? It doesn’t seem to be in the talk, so that’s exactly what the UFC has made me appear, to be the gate holder. And, yeah, I think Volkov is dodging me clearly. That’s not a secret that he’s dodging me."
To support his comments, he brought up his past three opponents, all of whom he knocked out in the very first round. According to Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Junior dos Santos and Cain Valesquez were all in the run for the title had they won the bouts. But it was Ngannou who had three consecutive wins, instead, but without any word from UFC about a title shot.
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