UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has been in devastating form since two disappointing losses marred his perfect UFC record in 2018. That year he lost two uninspired decisions; one to then champion Stipe Miocic and another to Derrick Lewis.
Since then he has destroyed every opponent he’s faced. His six straight wins all came via T/KO with three wins coming in 45 seconds or less. The only opponent to make it out the first round was Miocic, who Ngannou fought last March.
That fight ended with a KO and earned ‘The Predator’ the title.
Despite how impressive Ngannou’s punching has been over his career, the Cameroonian won’t call himself the best striker in the business. He recently posted a video on his official YouTube channel where he awarded that designation to someone he considers a close friend and ally.
“It’s really hard for me to make a clear statement on [Israel Adesanya] because it’s going to be emotional, you know,” he said in the video (ht sportskeeda).
“I took Izzy as a brother so things that I say about him might not be considered by somebody but I say, he’s a great guy, the best striker in the game. By the way, I tried to get him for this training camp, but travel restrictions with New Zealand wasn’t really helpful for us so we couldn’t make it. But he would have loved to come here and help me for the striking part of the game, the footwork and everything. Because when you look at his style, he just does everything that Ciyrl does but in a better way. And he was willing to come down here and help me for my camp, but couldn’t make it.”
Ngannou has been on the sidelines since beating Miocic, while trying to make a super-fight with former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones happen. The UFC balked at that fight, for fears they would have to pay either man their fair share. Instead the promotion gave Ciryl Gane an interim title for beating Derrick Lewis.
With the prospect of losing his belt for refusing to unify the title, Ngannou is now expected to face Gane, his former training partner, at UFC 270 on January 22nd.