Francis Ngannou: ‘Now I Believe In Myself More Than Before’
He started off the year contending for the UFC heavyweight title, but on Saturday Francis Ngannou will be looking to snap a two-fight losing streak at UFC Beijing.
Ngannou suffered back-to-back defeats to Stipe Miocic and then Derrick Lewis earlier this year and now finds himself in a rematch with Curtis Blaydes this Saturday. Reflecting on the past 12 months in a rare interview with the South China Morning Post, Ngannou admitted he’s had a tough time of late.
“I was under high pressure, I put myself in some place that I couldn’t manage,” Ngannou said. “When I realised things were wrong I just took a step back. I tried to remind myself why I am here. What made me take the decision [to be a fighter]. And then I realised that it was my dream. It wasn’t a random choice. What made me be here? It’s my talent. At some point I forgot that thing.”
Ngannou’s confidence looked shook in his last encounter with Lewis and he went on to admit as much.
“Last time I was still dealing with my loss to Stipe,” Ngannou revealed. “I carried that loss with me. But you can make sure that won’t happen again. You will now see the Ngannou that you saw before.”
“It might sound selfish but you need to remind yourself that you are good. You need to remind yourself that you are not at the bottom. It hurt me a lot to get out of that. On Saturday night, I am sure I have dealt with the past and I am going to move forward.”
“The Predator” knows he will have to be back to his best on Saturday if he’s to defeat Blaydes. Unlike Ngannou, the American has been in top form of late and has been undefeated since losing to Ngannou in 2016 with five wins. Despite Blaydes’ win streak, Ngannou believes he will be too much for Blaydes come Saturday.
“Even when I lost two fights I didn’t think I was at the bottom, I still had something in my heart.
“Now I believe in myself more than before. I learned a lot from my last two fights. Now I am coming back stronger, and you guys are going to agree with me.”