Dewey Cooper Says Francis Ngannou Will Return Better Than Ever: ‘The Best Heavyweight In UFC History Couldn’t Even Stop Him’
Francis Ngannou’s boxing and MMA coach Dewey Cooper is predicting he will return better than ever following his defeat to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220.
Cooper was in the corner of Ngannou as he was defeated via a unanimous decision back in January by Miocic. Ngannou and his team came in for widespread criticism following the fight, but speaking this week on the ‘Slip n’ Dip’ podcast, Cooper gave a timely reminder that Ngannou was never finished by Miocic.
“Everyone knows what happened, Francis… I got one word to describe him [and that’s] phenomenal,” Cooper said.
“We had an off night and we all felt that night, that Francis at his worst still couldn’t be stopped.
“That’s all I can say about that.”
Cooper then went on to reiterate that Ngannou was at his worst that evening and that when he returns, he will be back better than ever. Whilst others still remain unconvinced whether Ngannou will ever achieve champion status, Cooper still believes he has a big future.
“Francis at his best won’t be defeated and him at his worst could not even be stopped.
“We got the best heavyweight in UFC couldn’t stop a guy who was just not at his best that night.
“Francis man, he’s phenomenal and he will definitely be back stronger than ever.
“That was just a minor setback for a huge explosive future.”
Cooper, who has a vast experience in all combat sports, doesn’t believe Ngannou was overwhelmed by the occasion at UFC 220. Instead, Cooper believes Ngannou just simply didn’t perform and that he performed at nowhere near the level he had done previously.
“Definitely not [the spotlight and nerves didn’t get to him,” Cooper said.
“It was just a bad night and sometimes fighters have that you know.
“I’ve had it several times in my career and it was just a bad night.
“Stipe did everything right and one thing about fighting guys that are that good is, no matter how great you are, if you have an off night that you’re going to win.
“You got to be at least 85% to 90% of your best to assure victory. Every now and then you get that 100% perfect performance that is just spectacular, like Francis was against Overeem. That was 100% perfect.
“So from that, we’ve always got to be 85% of ourselves of better, especially if the other guys is 100% of himself that night. That’s what fighting is about man.”
Despite the setback, Cooper believes that Ngannou will still one day be the champion of the UFC heavyweight division and that experience he had at UFC 220 will ultimately only make him stronger.
“Stipe was at his best and we just weren’t at our best and there will be improvement from that and there will be experience and knowledge from that and Francis will definitely be a UFC heavyweight champion that’s for sure.
“The team he has now, with or without them, he’s something special. He has everything. He has all that inside of him. He’s going to be that guy, believe that.
“The experience he learned was very valuable and it sure won’t happen again just from having that experience. We all know what happened and he will be better for it for sure. We will all be better for it.”
Watch the full interview: