Francis Ngannou's ultimate goal in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career is just within grasp, all he has to do is reach out and grab it.
After laying waste to some of the best names in the heavyweight division, including Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem, Ngannou has finally earned his shot at the UFC heavyweight championship against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 on pay-per-view (PPV).
Miocic captured the championship last year when he knocked out Fabricio Werdum in the first round of their fight in Brazil. He followed that up with two successful title defenses against Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos.
Miocic has been looked at as a heavy underdog heading into the fight, despite being the current champion. The reason for this being that Ngannou is a freakishly impressive athletic specimen who has absolutely obliterated his opposition inside the cage due to his sheer strength and size.
His knockout power is a record-holding best in the world and it showed after he viciously rendered Alistair Overeem unconscious earlier this month, who is one of the best strikers in MMA history.
At a UFC 220 press conference earlier this week, Ngannou claimed to know Miocic's game-plan for their fight next month - to simply survive (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I think he will try to survive,” Ngannou said, in regards to whether he expected Miocic to stand and trade with him.
“First of all, this is the first word for his gameplan: survive. And then whatever he’s gonna try, I’m gonna catch it, and then I’m gonna connect it, and you know what happens when I connect.
“Of course, he’s really intimidated. He knows what’s going to happen,” Ngannou said. “I know he’s just (acting proud) here like, ‘Yes, I’m the champ.
"I’m this, I’m that.’ But he knows the guy that he’s gonna fight. He knows that it’s gonna be the fight that he’s never had in his career.”
“I guess so,” Miocic said. “Whatever he says. Sure, I’m intimidated. Awesome.”
What are your thoughts on Ngannou saying that Miocic's game-plan for UFC 220 is to simply 'survive?' Do you think that Ngannou is a little too confident heading into his bout against the heavyweight champion of the world? Or is he truly inside taking Miocic seriously given his extensive resume of wins? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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