Back in May, Francis Ngannou (15-3) made a massive statement at UFC 249. Taking on the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Ngannou won by knockout in a mere 20 seconds to solidify is top contender status in the heavyweight division.
For Ngannou, it was his fourth straight victory. Not just that, it was his forth straight first round knockout none of which have gone more than 71 seconds. Simply put, Ngannou is the most terrifying force in the UFC right now.
However, he hasn’t been able to get back in the cage since then. Ngannou tried to lobby for a fight with the UFC‘s pound for pound best, Jon Jones, however, that fight fell apart due to financial negotiations between Jones and the UFC.
UFC 252 rolled around in August and Stipe Miocic defeated Daniel Cormier to retain his heavyweight title. However, Miocic is said to be out until March of next year with some injuries that he sustained the matchup against Cormier. This isn’t sitting well with the top contender.
Apparently Stipe is out until March. If I have to wait until then it'll be almost another year between fights.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 20, 2020
The UFC’s heavyweight issue
The UFC has a problem on their hands in the heavyweight division. It all stems back to when Daniel Cormier won the heavyweight title. After Cormier won, it appeared that the UFC would make Cormier fight Brock Lesnar in a super fight for the heavyweight title.
However, that fight never materialized. Then a year after Cormier fought Miocic the first time, the two rematched where Miocic retained the title. Due to injuries in the rematch, it took another year for the trilogy fight to happen at UFC 252.
While all of this was going on, Ngannou was running through contenders like Cain Velasquez, Curtis Blaydes, Junior Dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Ngannou pointed out that he’s only fought for 20 seconds in the last 16 months.
The UFC needs to get the heavyweight division moving again. If Miocic can’t go in March, I think the UFC needs to create an interim title and let Ngannou face either the winner of the Lewis – Blaydes fight or perhaps they can make the Jon Jones fight happen.