23 Jan Francis Ngannou: Still a work in progress
Heavily hyped brings heavy expectations, sadly for Ngannou and probably the UFC, Ngannou didn’t live up to those expectations.
At the press conference post UFC 220, Ngannou had this to say:
“I’m going to keep improving and come back stronger than I was. I think what I learned tonight was the last piece of game. The thing that missing from my game. The part I never had the opportunity to learn. I will be back stronger. I can get Stipe again, I can take anyone in the division. I just have to be work on my gameplan. With what I learned today, it will make it easy for my next fight and it doesn’t matter my opponent. If I want to stay positive, I say I learned more tonight than I did the last four years.”
Ngannou is still relatively new to the sport and as he states himself he will learn from his first UFC defeat.
There are obvious flaws to work on, he looked exhausted at the end of the first round, and there is certainly work to be done on his takedown defence and getting up from the bottom, as Joe Rogan said in commentary he looked lost, when he was on his back.
Ngannou can’t just rely on brute strength and power, loading up on his punches and just throwing them from way won’t work against the best in the division, he’s got to work his way into range.
He needs to add a little more finesse to his work, jab his way in, add a few more leg kicks to his arsenal, feints, a little more head movement etc.
I wouldn’t totally rule out Ngannou being the UFC Heavyweight Champion somewhere down the road, Stipe showed he is still very raw, but I don’t think all is lost just yet. Over hyped, maybe, but at the minute probably a case of pushed a little to soon.