Stipe Miocic, one of the greatest heavyweight fighters ever, gives his thoughts on Francis Ngannou leaving the UFC in his prime.
The UFC world had a shock right at the turn of the year when a reigning champ walked out of the company! The defending heavyweight champion of the world, Francis Ngannou, left the UFC. Afterward, UFC President Dana White questioned Ngannou’s motivation to fight the very best fighters in the world. There were talks of Ngannou fighting Jon Jones prior to his exit.
However, it did not happen as UFC did not budge from its position. Ngannou, on the other hand, also refused to let go of his principles and stuck to his guns. It is rumored that Ngannou wanted to have a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to have healthcare. It is unprecedented and something that UFC did not agree to.
Hence, his exit was perhaps the most amicable resolution for all the parties involved. So what does Stipe Miocic have to say about the situation? For fans who are unaware, Ngannou fought Stipe twice. While their first bout was a one-sided win for Francis, Ngannou viciously KO-ed Stipe to win the heavyweight belt at UFC 260. Although Francis is a former competitor, Miocic has no animosity toward him.
Stipe Miocic wishes Francis Ngannou the best following his UFC exit
Recently, former UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic appeared on The MMA Hour. Among many things, Stipe also gave his opinion about Ngannou’s situation with the UFC. The 40-year-old certainly applauded Francis Ngannou for his part in trying to change the sport of MMA. However, Stipe feels like it will not be an easy job as it is a monumental task to accomplish.
However, it appears that Stipe wanted to fight Ngannou and finish their trilogy. As previously mentioned, in their two bouts, they have both had one win each. Ngannou was the last person that Stipe fought and there were talks that he wanted a rematch to regain his title. Hence, he was disappointed to see Ngannou leave the company so early. But, he also wished Ngannou the best.
Stipe added, “I would’ve loved to have fought Francis again, but it’s not going to happen, Listen, it’s his decision. I wish he would’ve stayed because I wanted another crack at him. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way, but listen, he’s doing what’s best for him and his family. He thinks it’s the right way to go, and it’s his decision. I wish him nothing but the best and I hope it works out.” (h/t via MMA Fighting)
Miocic’s statements echo Jon Jones’ take on Francis Ngannou as well. Even Jon did not hold a grudge against “The Predator” for wanting to explore free agency. According to Jon, he could not blame Ngannou for trying to find out his worth. While there were rumors of him joining PFL, Derek Chisora was also discussed as a potential opponent for Ngannou’s boxing debut.
March 4th – I like it.— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) January 15, 2023
I got winner in July.
As for Stipe Miocic, he wants to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. So it remains to be seen what the UFC does with Miocic in the coming months. Will he get an immediate title shot? Only time will tell.