UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou put himself closer to another title shot after a dominant victory over Cain Velasquez at UFC on ESPN 1 held at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday. The fight between Ngannou and Velasquez didn’t last long, as the Cameroonian mixed martial artist only needed 26 seconds to knock out the former two-time UFC heavyweight champion.
In a post-fight press conference, Ngannou said he wanted to fight for the UFC heavyweight title next. Though he didn’t call out reigning UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, he doesn’t seem to have any problem facing Ngannou in the Octagon. According to MMA Fighting, Cormier is very confident that he can avenge his best friend and American Kickboxing Academy training partner Cain Velasquez by defeating Ngannou.
“Every time you see something like that, the emotions tell you – you go get it back, you go make it right,” Cormier said. “But Francis Ngannou, who didn’t ask for a fight, maybe later he will, and if that’s something we decide we want to do, then that’s what I’ll do. I won’t go fight Francis Ngannou. I will beat Francis Ngannou.”
Daniel Cormier knew how hard Cain Velasquez trained for his fight against Francis Ngannou. Unfortunately for Velasquez, he failed to show the fruit of his hard work after he reportedly suffered a knee injury during the fight.
“He looked good,” Cormier said. “I thought he was ready to fight, and I felt like he was ready to win this fight. You just cannot control some of the things that happen. He hurt his knee.”
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Cormier definitely has the capability to defeat Velasquez, but as of now, it remains unknown when he will be able to fight again in the Octagon. Cormier is still recovering from a back injury he suffered when he defended the UFC heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230. Also, UFC President Dana White doesn’t seem to be convinced that Ngannou already deserves to fight for the title again.
Though he didn’t give any specific names, White said that there is another fight lined up for Daniel Cormier. Aside from Francis Ngannou, other potential opponents for Cormier include UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, and former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar. If Cormier needs an extended period of time for his recovery, there is a possibility that the UFC will create an interim heavyweight title.