Francis Ngannou is next in line for UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who talked to the media at the UFC 218 post-fight press conference Saturday night in Detroit. Ngannou stopped Alistair Overeem in less than two minutes in the UFC 218 co-main event, picking up the biggest win of his career in brutal fashion.
Fabricio Werdum called for a title rematch against Miocic after his recent main-event victory over Marcin Tybura last month, but Ngannou is getting the next crack at the current titleholder.
“[Ngannou] looked incredible tonight. Wow,” White said after confirming Miocic vs. Ngannou. “That’s as impressive a heavyweight knockout as you will ever see.
“When you look at him, he looks like the heavyweight champion of the world. I mean, he looks like the heavyweight champion of something. The guy’s a monster. He continues to get better. I always believed in this guy since I met him, I thought that he was going to be the man, but, boy, he looked like the man tonight.”
White said he wants to see Miocic vs. Ngannou as soon as possible. When asked if the promotion could save the title fight for International Fight Week 2018 in July, White said it will be booked for much sooner than that.
Ngannou was born in Cameroon, Africa, and White believes promoting him will be a good way to enter the African market.
“This guy’s going to be a rock star — globally,” White added.
Miocic has not fought since his second title defense in May at UFC 211, where he knocked out Junior dos Santos in the first round. He hasn’t stepped in the cage since then because he and the promotion have not yet come to terms on a new contract, but according to White, negotiations with the heavyweight champ are “good.” If true, that won’t be a roadblock keeping Miocic vs. Ngannou from being scheduled for early next year.
And Ngannou himself wants to see the Miocic fight happen as soon as possible, like White. He hadn’t fought since a January stoppage of Andrei Arlovski, and he took no damage against Overeem, so he is already itching to get back in the Octagon.
“I’m injury-free, so I’m ready to go,” Ngannou said at the post-fight press conference. “I’d been out for a long time, like 10 months, and now I want to go.”
Miocic has not yet commented on Ngnanou’s win or the fact he will be facing Ngannou next.
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