Derrick Lewis makes bold Francis Ngannou prediction for their rematch

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis predicts he will knock Francis Ngannou out in the first round after ramping up the trash talk ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the plan is to set up a rematch between Lewis and Ngannou with "The Predator", 34, putting the UFC heavyweight championship on the line. 

Ngannou (16-3) avenged his blowout loss to Stipe Miocic (21-4) in 2018 by knocking out the former UFC heavyweight champion in devastating fashion at UFC 260 in Las Vegas. 

However Lewis (25-7, 1 NC), who has only lost two of his last six fights, expects a different outcome and is confident he will end the contest early.

“It’s gonna be a fun fight,” Lewis said to ESPN. “We both learned a lot from that. We both improved since that fight, so it’s gonna have to be a fun fight. Too many rounds are gonna be involved in this fight. It’s gonna be five rounds, so it’s not gonna be five rounds of snooze fest. It’s gonna be five rounds of swinging and banging, so it’s gonna be interesting to see. I’m excited for it.”

"I will say the first exchange, I’ll knock him out in the first exchange," he added. "I almost knocked out Curtis [Blaydes] in the first exchange, too, but he got on that bike and he took off running. I feel that in my heart, especially if he comes out the way he’s been coming out to all his other guys, especially the way he came out against [Jairzinho] Rozenstruik. If he tries to come out and fight me the same way, then I’ll knock him out for sure.”

Ngannou lost a decision to Lewis in their first outing at UFC 266 in July 2018, a result that at the time caught many by surprise.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan called it "the most boring heavyweight fight of all time," but Lewis believes he only has himself to blame.

"I blame myself," he concluded. "It really wasn’t his fault. I’m not gonna sit up here and blame him. I’m gonna say it was my fault mostly. I came in that fight in half-assed training and didn’t take care of my body the way I was supposed to that fight, so I blame myself. Now that I’m more experienced, I know that what I need to do to really get the job done."

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