JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Francis Ngannou envisions a long layoff.
At UFC 249 on Saturday, Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) ran through fellow heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC). In a mere 20 seconds, Ngannou toppled the Surinamese heavyweight, knocking him out cold against the fence.
Already thought to be in the title picture prior to the fight, Ngannou voiced his frustration with the UFC heavyweight division’s current logjam. The UFC’s goal is for Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3 to happen next. However the champion Miocic is a first responder combatting the pandemic on the frontlines in a state, Ohio, that still has a strict shutdown policy.
“Honestly, I don’t know what is up next,” Ngannou said. “I think I’m going to let my manager talk with the UFC and see how it goes and see what they say. It’s very confusing, because right now, yes, we know Stipe is going to fight ‘DC.’”
If Miocic vs. Cormier goes as planned, Ngannou will then have to wait for the victor to heal up. When he maps it out in his head, Ngannou thinks he could potentially be looking at a one-year layoff.
“The question is: When?” Ngannou said, of his return fight. “This is May – the beginning of May. We don’t know when. I have to wait for that fight and expect that the winner doesn’t get an injury or get hurt. Then, he’ll go take some rest, take vacation, and come back after two or three months. Then, he’ll go to training camp.
“I’ll end up with maybe nine months or one year again, this time. It’s something I didn’t like at all. I don’t want to be in that space again.”
UFC 249 took place Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
Check out Francis Ngannou’s full UFC 249 post-fight interview in the video above.