UFC 226’s heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis was one of the worst fights in the promotion’s history, and UFC president Dana White wasted no time in criticizing ‘The Predator’ for his uninspiring performance on Saturday night.
“Horrible,” White said when asked about last night’s co-main event.
According to White, Ngannou’s ego is ‘out of control’ and the Cameroonian knockout artist got carried away with the hype prior to his heavyweight title bout with Stipe Miocic back at UFC 220.
”I think that [Ngannou] had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him, everybody was talking about him,” White said at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference, per MMA Mania’s Ryan Harkness. “I thought he was going to be the next [big] guy. I think his ego ran away with him, big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him. The minute that that happens to you in the fight game, you see what happens. You start to fall apart.”
”I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organization, and this guy’s ego was just so out of control,” White continued. “It’s like, before the Stipe fight, he took off and went to France. Didn’t even really train for that fight. And you see the results. Well, he came back and did train [this time], but ego is what hurt Francis Ngannou.”
Ngannou was touted as one of the division’s most feared contenders and many expected a slugfest with ‘The Black Beast’ at UFC 226. Instead, both men seemed content to stare at each other for three rounds and, despite Ngannou’s reputation as an aggressive knockout artist, the 31-year-old landed just 11 strikes and made no effort to engage with his opponent.
Lewis, who also has a plethora of KO’s to his name, landed only 20 strikes and walked away with a lackluster unanimous decision win.
Thankfully, the main event between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier more than made up for Ngannou vs. Lewis and UFC 226 delivered an otherwise entertaining night of fights. ‘DC’ made history by becoming the first ever simultaneous light heavyweight and heavyweight champion after KO’ing Miocic in the first round. To top it off, the newly-crowned heavyweight champ engaged in a WWE-style promo with Brock Lesnar in the post-fight interview, after Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that Lesnar would challenge Cormier for the title.
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