Stipe Miocic Truly Believes Francis Ngannou Is Looking Past Him at UFC 220
Stipe Miocic is no stranger to being the underdog.
Even as the reigning heavyweight champion in the UFC, Miocic has heard quite often that it’s only a matter of time until this fighter or that fighter comes to take the title away from him.
Of course, Miocic has probably never heard those chorus of doubters any louder than he has ahead of UFC 220 where he takes on ferocious knockout puncher Francis Ngannou in the main event.
Ngannou has secured his spot as the No. 1 ranked heavyweight contender thanks to a series of devastating finishes capped off by his jaw-dropping knockout against former title contender Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 this past Dec.
At the UFC 220 pre-fight press conference just recently, Ngannou kept jabbing away at Miocic saying that he was intimidated and has since added that he is the uncrowned champion in the heavyweight division.
It all adds up to a shrug of the shoulders from Miocic, who has never been bothered by an opponent’s trash talk, but he does seem to think that Ngannou might be starting to believe his own hype ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
“I hope he doesn’t take me lightly but I feel like he is,” Miocic said. “Let him think that way. It’s a terrible time to find out in the middle of the fight that he can’t do what he wants.”
At that same press conference, Miocic sat in his chair while UFC president Dana White read off a list of facts about Ngannou’s legendary knockout power after he broke the all time record on the punching machine inside the UFC’s Performance Institute in Las Vegas.
Miocic just nodded as White claimed that the impact from Ngannou’s punch was equivalent to getting hit by a car going more than 30 miles-per-hour. Judging by those facts and the way the fight has been promoted, Miocic can’t help but feel like the UFC is already appointing Ngannou as the next heavyweight champion but he has some bad news for both of them.
“I don’t care. I honestly don’t care. Whatever the UFC wants. I’m not going to sit there and beg them to get behind me. I’m used to it by now,” Miocic said. “I’m not going to worry about it, they don’t promote me, I don’t really care. Listen, I don’t talk s–t. That’s the way it is. I understand. There are people who can sell pay-per-views, apparently I can’t.
“Not worried about that. Worried about Francis. That’s all I care about. Jan. 20. Going in there and doing my job and coming out champ — and still — which I will. Nothing’s going to change. I’m going to walk out with the belt still wrapped around my waist.”
Ngannou may be the latest and scariest contender to get promoted by the UFC, but Miocic refuses to see him as anything more than the next guy in line for his title.
“That’s what it is. He’s tough, he’s big, strong, hits hard but he’s just another dude,” Miocic said. “That’s what it is.”