Francis Ngannou was a man coming off a huge knockout win at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday night.
So it was a tad surprising to see Ngannou in what can only be considered a downtrodden mood post-fight. That, despite a highlight reel, thunderous knockout of Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who had called him out ahead of the booking.
There is a reason for Ngannou’s dissatisfaction, however. And it has nothing at all to do with his performance. The Cameroonian fighter is a man in limbo, having once before been promised a shot at the title. Again, his fight with Rozenstruik was billed as a title eliminator.
But who knows when it will happen? Stipe Miocic is dealing with a pandemic (as a firefighter, he’s on the front lines). His bout with Daniel Cormier, to cap off their trilogy, seems no closer to being booked.
“I don’t know exactly where is my position in the division right now,” Ngannou said, frustrations clear. “And that’s how I’ve been feeling like in the past 11 months, you know. And, unfortunately, after this fight, it doesn’t solve things for me. I am still in the same situation to not know what exactly is going on.”
The plan, as it stands, is to talk to the UFC in about a week, and see what comes out of it, said Ngannou. But despite earlier talk of an interim title, he’s done with all that.
“No, not at all,” was Ngannou’s response when asked if he was interested in fighting for an interim belt. “At this point, I don’t care about an interim title. I mean, just even after JDS I was supposed to fight for the title. And then they gave me one more fight. I fight. Then why would I go for the interim title? Where is the title? If they don’t have the title in the heavyweight division, then they just have to say they don’t have a title, and put someone up.”
“I’m not fighting for a bullsh*t interim title,” he finished.
With four straight first-round finishes, two against former champions in the UFC’s heavyweight division (Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez), Ngannou feels he has stated is case. Seems like it’s the promotion’s move.
Watch the full UFC 249 post-fight virtual press scrum with Francis Ngannou above!