Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said that the winner of the UFC 218 heavyweight co-main event between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou would get the next shot at heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Following the fight, there was no doubt about who is going to get the shot.
Ngannou took Overeem out of the picture in short order. Overeem stormed Ngannou from the opening bell, but couldn’t land the shot. After avoiding Overeem’s attacks, Ngannou launched a left uppercut that put the former Strikeforce and K-1 champion out cold on the floor. He didn’t move for several minutes. He was on the canvas longer than the 1:42 it took Ngannou to put him there.
Ngannou will soon get his opportunity to prove that, as White confirmed at the UFC 218 post-fight press conference that Ngannou is indeed next for Miocic, and it’s a fight that he likes.
“If you look at the match-up, when you break that fight down, ‘oh, God, Stipe is a smaller heavyweight,’ but Stipe is fast, he’s agile, he’s a great athlete. Francis is bigger, he’s not as fast as Stipe, but he hits very hard. It’s a very fun match-up,” said White.
“Francis Ngannou is special. And Stipe, he’s very fast, and he has knockout power.”
Asked if the fight were one that White might have in mind to headline something like International Fight Week, which is an annual focal point of the UFC’s year which takes place in July, White quickly shot that down.
“I want it before International Fight Week. International Fight Week is in July. I want to see it before then.”
But if the fight could come to together in time for UFC 220, which takes place on Jan. 20 in Boston? White was all in.
“I’d love it.”
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