Francis Ngannou took UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic the distance in their UFC 220 headlining bout in Boston recently. None of Miocic’s five previous opponents could say the same. In fact, the last man to go the distance with Miocic, former champion Junior dos Santos, defeated Miocic when they went all five rounds in headlining UFC on FOX 13.
The loss put a halt to a 10-fight winning streak for the Cameroonian knockout artist.
Often times when that happens, a fighter wants to get right back in the ring and try to right the ship. That doesn’t always work out so well, just ask former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who tried to bounce back from a loss to Georges St-Pierre and ended up getting knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum.
“I’m taking some time off, which will benefit my personal life by going back home to see family and friends. Then I’ll be back to set things up,” Ngannou wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
Ngannou has been far from home recently, as he was living and training in Las Vegas for his fight with Miocic, taking advantage of the UFC Performance Institute.
Now that he knows some of the things he needs to work on following the loss to Miocic, Ngannou wants to take a break before he starts to re-shape his skills. But he has been resolute that he will return.
“Unfortunately it didn’t go on my way last night,” he said after the fight. “But I learned some different aspects of this sport and I’ll come back stronger!”
The victory cemented Miocic’s status as one of the best heavyweights of all, as he set a UFC record for most heavyweight title defenses at three, something that Randy Couture, Cain Velasquez, and Brock Lesnar all failed to do.
Now, Ngannou can only hope that Miocic holds the belt long enough for him to reinvent himself and get another crack at the belt.