On this week’s episode of the MMA Hour, surging French heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou asserted that, because no other heavyweight contenders are available for a fight, he deserves a crack at reigning heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic.
“AFTER [JUNIOR DOS SANTOS] WASPULLED FROM [OUR UFC 215 FIGHT]ALL THE TOP-10, ALMOST ALL OF THE TOP-15 WAS BOOKED,” NGANNOU TOLD HOST ARIEL HELWANI. “THE ONLY ONE AVAILABLE WAS [ALISTAIR] OVEREEM. HE SAID HE’S INJURED […] AND HE TOOK A LITTLE TIME FOR FAMILY.”
“I DON’T KNOW,” NGANNOU CONTINUED, BEFORE CONFIDENTLY ASSERTING THAT IT’S TIME FOR A TITLE SHOT. “THEY CAN GIVE ME [HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION] STIPE [MIOCIC] RIGHT NOW. I WANT STIPE. I WANT TO GO FOR THE BELT. THEN AFTER THAT I CAN [TAKE ON] ALL THESE GUYS WHO BECOME THE CONTENDERS, THE POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS, YES, BUT [I WANT] STIPE FIRST. SINCE JANUARY, I HAVEN’T HAD A FIGHT, SO NOW WE NEED TO GO FORWARD.”
Apparently, Ngannou’s calls for a title shot have reached Alistair Overeem’s ears, and he strongly disagrees with the Frenchman’s claims. Overeem addressed Ngannou on Twitter, scolding him for attempting to “skip the line.”
“I HEARD SOMEONE IS TRYING TO SKIP THE LINE,” HE SAID. “CAN’T ALLOW SUCH A THING TO HAPPEN. SO [FRANCIS NGANNOU], LET’S GO!”
This is not the first time Overeem has expressed interest in a fight with Ngannou. At a fan Q&A in the buildup to UFC Rotterdam, he said he’d fight the rising contender in December.
“FRANCIS IS A VERY STRONG GUY AND HE’S DOING REALLY GOOD,” OVEREEM SAID (H/TMMA WEEKLY). “IF THE UFC CALLS ME AND SAY LET’S DO THIS, THEN I’LL CERTAINLY SAY YES. I THINK HE’S BIGGER THAN ME. HE’S A CHALLENGE AND I JUST SEE IT AS A MOTIVATION; SOMEBODY TRYING TO TAKE SOMETHING AWAY FROM ME.”
Do you want to see Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou go at it?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/7/2017.