In 2017, UFC President Dana White had a hunch that Francis Ngannou could be the next big thing in the UFC. Five years later, Ngannou is now the UFC heavyweight champion with an incredible résumé attached to his name on his way to a unification headliner against Ciryl Gane tonight at UFC 270.
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[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 18, 2017, 9:35 AM]
Headline: Dana White: ‘I Think Francis Ngannou Could be The Next Big Thing’
Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White believes Francis Ngannou doesn’t need the “gift of gab” to be a star.
Ngannou is a rising heavyweight known for his punching power. In his 10 victories, Ngannou has six knockouts and four submissions. His last win came against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski via first-round TKO.
On Dec. 2, Ngannou will take on Alistair Overeem inside Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The bout will be featured on the main card of UFC 218.
Speaking to TSN, White explained why he feels “The Predator” can be a star without trash-talking (via BJPenn.com):
“I like Francis Ngannou. I think Francis Ngannou could be the next big thing, literally and figuratively. Listen, when you’re a badass, language has nothing to do with it man. It’s all about how you – look at Anderson Silva. The list goes on and on. It’s about your performances. Listen, we think about the talking because Conor is so good. Conor is a great fighter and every time he opens his mouth it’s hilarious, you know? You find those guys once in a blue moon.”
A win over “The Reem” could see Ngannou compete for the UFC heavyweight title sometime in 2018.