Back in January UFC president Dana White offered extraordinarily high praise for heavyweight Francis Ngannou.
“I believe that this guy has the potential to become the heavyweight champion of the world,” said White. “I also believe he has the potential to hold that title for a very long time.”
And back then, Ngannou was training in Paris, France, not known as a center of mixed martial arts fight talent. He has since moved to Las Vegas, where his skills will presumably blossom further.
However, during a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, fellow heavyweight Derrick Lewis was not impressed.
“Francis, that guy is real ignorant, don’t even worry about that guy,” said Lewis, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “I would love to fight him after this fight because he’s been talking a lot of s*** anyway, like he’s the s***. F*** that guy. I will fight his ass after I fight Mark Hunt. I wanted to fight him before this fight. He’s over there talking about I’m too slow and this and that. I’m going to bang his ass out. He is overyhyped. I’m still prettier than him anyway. Forget that African booty scratcher, ain’t worried about him.”
A look at the division top 10 indicates that a fight between the pair is a natural.
Champion Stipe Miocic
1 Fabricio Werdum
2 Cain Velasquez
3 Alistair Overeem
4 Junior Dos Santos
5 Francis Ngannou
6 Derrick Lewis
7 Mark Hunt
8 Andrei Arlovski
9 Travis Browne
10 Alexander Volkov
Lewis is on a six-fight win streak in the UFC, with two of them winning performance bonuses. Ngannou is one a nine-fight win streak, the last five in the UFC. Lewis fights Mark Hunt on June 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 110. If his next fight was vs. Ngannou, the winner would be an obvious choice for a title shot.