‘We Even Requested The UFC’- Francis Ngannou Admits UFC Refused to Have Interim Belt

Published 03/24/2021, 2:29 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 29: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon is interviewed after defeating Junior Dos Santos of Brazil by TKO in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Target Center on June 29, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Francis Ngannou and Stipe Miocic are two of the best fighters in the UFC, and their rematch at UFC 260 is surely going to be a spectacle.

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The first match between Miocic and Ngannou was a spectacular show, and although the champion won rather comfortably, Francis showed a lot of heart.

Francis Ngannou reflects on the first fight with Stipe Miocic

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Francis recently talked about the fight and said, “I watch the fight and don’t recognize me, I mean the guy looks like me, but for me it is not me.”

After almost 3 years, the rematch between Francis and Stipe has been scheduled for UFC 260. During an interview, Ngannou talked about whether he blames Stipe for not defending the title often enough.

He said,You know, this is a sport business and then he is a fighter as me, and I am sure he is doing what’s best for him.” Ngannou knows Stipe does not have all the authority, and that he is not the one who is running the show.

Should there have been an Interim Heavyweight belt?

While Ngannou was talking about Miocic, he commented on how the other divisions work fine irrespective of the fighting frequency of the champion.

“We have seen people lay back in the UFC for longer than that, and the division keeps going on, maybe sometimes by an Interim title and all that stuff that doesn’t happen in our division.” Ngannou said.

Ngannou even requested for an interim title match between him and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, but the UFC did not show any interest. “We even requested to the UFC, but actually they showed no interest,” recalled Ngannou.

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There have been UFC champions who have competed much less than Stipe, but most divisions end up having an Interim Champion in between. However, the UFC has still not introduced that for the Heavyweight division.

Francis is not the only heavyweight who has spoken about this, Rozenstruik has also expressed his opinion on the same and his thoughts mirror those of Ngannou.

The trilogy fight between Cormier and Miocic was one reason because of which Stipe couldn’t defend his title and many UFC fighters including Ngannou believe that during that time having an interim champion would have been great for the division and the fighters.

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The UFC has had Interim champions in many divisions and it won’t come as any surprise if they decide to have one in the heavyweight division as well, and if that happens Francis Ngannou would certainly benefit a lot.

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Paras Pande

217 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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