He was supposed to fight Junior dos Santos at the upcoming UFC 215 card, but JDS was pulled due to an unfortunate potential anti-doping violation by USADA. Since then, he’s called out Alistair Overeem and even UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic himself. Neither accepted the fight. It looks like it was just bad timing though, because Overeem just announced at a recent Q & A that he’s down to fight Ngannou. Not only that, but they could square off in the Octagon at UFC 217 or UFC 219.
“FRANCIS IS A VERY STRONG GUY AND HE’S DOING REALLY GOOD. I THINK HE’S ON A SIX FIGHT WIN STREAK IN THE UFC. I’M OPEN. I DON’T HAVE A FIGHT BOOKED SO I’M OPEN FOR ANYBODY. WELL, I DON’T TAKE TIME OFF, I’M ALWAYS TRAINING, MY WEIGHT IS ON POINT. I’M THINKING NOVEMBER, DECEMBER. I JUST BECAME A DAD AGAIN FOR THE THIRD TIME SO FIRST THINGS FIRST, LAST MONTH WAS FAMILY TIME, EVER SINCE MY FIGHT WITH WERDUM. BUT YEAH, I’M OPEN. IF THE UFC CALL ME AND SAY LETS DO THIS, THEN I’LL CERTAINLY SAY YES.”
“I DON’T REALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE RANKINGS. I THINK [FRANCIS NGANNOU] IS FIVE AND I’M NUMBER ONE. IT IS WHAT IT IS. I SEE, THAT AS AN OPPONENT, HE’S A BIG GUY, HE’S A STRONG GUY. I THINK HE’S BIGGER THAN ME. HE’S A CHALLENGE AND I JUST SEE IT AS A MOTIVATION – SOMEBODY TRYING TO TAKE SOMETHING AWAY FROM ME. IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK.” – ALISTAIR OVEREEM DURING THEUFC ROTTERDAM Q & A.
With Ngannou being pulled off UFC 215 since he could find an opponent, we could be seeing him fight Alistair Overeem as early as November or December. A fight of that proportion – both literally and figuratively – would be welcome on either the stacked UFC 217 card headlined by Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre, or the sure-to-be gigantic UFC 219 event. Let’s just hope we see that beast in the Octagon again soon, Ngannou looks in terrifying shape.
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 9/2/2017.