A heavyweight showdown of epic proportions is looking like it may be added to UFC 226 if all goes according to plan.
The UFC is hoping to finalise the bout in the next few days, with many fans clamouring to see the two men finally face off in the Octagon.
Who are the two men exactly? For one, you’ve got Francis “The Predator” Ngannou, the Cameroonian-French mixed martial artist who rose to fame with his astonishing knockouts of Andrei Arlovski and longtime heavyweight fan favourite Alistair Overeem.
With blistering power that has been compared to that of a small truck, and a much feared reputation as a brawler, Ngannou was the recipient of multiple Knockout of the Year and Breakthrough Fighter of the Year awards in 2017. With just two losses in thirteen fights, one being to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, Ngannou has shown he he still has room to grow in the UFC’s heavyweight division at just thirty-one years-of-age.
Standing opposite Ngannou, if all goes to plan that is, will be Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis, who has also become well known for his highlight reel knockouts and high power. Lewis has finished six of his last eight fights by TKO or knockout, winning two Performance of the Night and two Fight of the Night bonuses in the process. He last faced Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 126 where he won by TKO in the third round.
Both men are known to have issues with their gas tanks, with Ngannou wilting under the harsh lights of the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. He was dragged into deep water by champion Miocic at UFC 220 and thoroughly dominated across all five rounds and losing by unanimous decision, showing a need for endurance training in the Cameroonian-Frenchman’s camp. Lewis has also faded in the later frames of fights, looking absolutely exhausted by the fourth round of his fight with Mark Hunt, who eventually won by TKO in Auckland, New Zealand in June of 2017.
The showdown will take place before Miocic takes on UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event at UFC 226, meaning this fight will likely decide who will be at the head of the line to face the winner of the main event in the future. Miocic and Cormier are currently serving as the head coaches on the Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated television show. If successful, Cormier will be the second fighter to become a UFC champion across two division simultaneously.
Will it be Derrick Lewis, the man known for “swanging and banging” or Francis Ngannou, the heavyweight who seemed to be the most feared prospect of the last few years? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section, we can’t wait for this one!
At present, the UFC 226 event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will feature:
Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier – Heavyweight title fight
Raphael Assuncao vs. Rob Font
Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki
Yancy Medeiros vs. Mike Perry
Paulo Costa vs. Uriah Hall
Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou