Francis Ngannou Predicts Africa Return With Usman, Adesanya, With Or Without The UFC

Francis NgannouReigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has claimed that he, as well as current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, and defending middleweight best, Israel Adesanya will all compete in a return to Africa, even if the UFC elect against hosting their premier event on the continent.  Ngannou, who headlines UFC 270 this weekend, attempts to successfully […]

Francis Ngannou

Reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou has claimed that he, as well as current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, and defending middleweight best, Israel Adesanya will all compete in a return to Africa, even if the UFC elect against hosting their premier event on the continent. 

Ngannou, who headlines UFC 270 this weekend, attempts to successfully unify the heavyweight titles against MMA Factory standout, the undefeated interim gold holder, Ciryl Gane.

Francis Ngannou rides a five-fight knockout run into this weekend’s title clash with Ciryl Gane

The outing will come as Ngannou’s first since seizing the undisputed heavyweight title back in March with a thunderous second round knockout win over Stipe Miocic. And even more noteworthy, Saturday’s outing is the final on Ngannou’s current contract with the UFC, as his immediate fighting future with the organization remains firmly up in the air. 

Whilst events which transpire on Saturday at UFC 270 will go a long way in factoring into the immediate future of Ngannou with the UFC, the Batie native touched on his future hopes to fight in his native Cameroon, and admitted that it’s paramount for himself, the aforenoted, Usman, and Adesanya to compete on the continent of Africa, even if the UFC elects against hosting an event there.

“It is a big dream to fight in Cameroon, but I also know it will be very hard to make a reality at this point,” Francis Ngannou told Stake during a recent interview ahead of UFC 270. “However, I believe eventually we will figure out a way to make it happen to fight for our people. It’s very important to each of us – myself, Israel (Adesanya) and (Kamaru) Usman. Ideally with the UFC, but even without the UFC, that is going to happen one day.” (Transcribed by MMA News)

While Francis Ngannou features this weekend in Anaheim, California – Adesanya is slated to return next month at UFC 271 in a middleweight championship rematch against former titleholder, Robert Whittaker.

For Auchi-born welterweight kingpin, Usman is expected to return sometime this summer in a potential welterweight title rematch against former-foe, the #3 ranked contender, Leon Edwards.

Jared Cannonier: Blonde Brunson Gimmick Is Irrelevant To Me

UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier says upcoming opponent Derek Brunson’s blonde “gimmick” will be irrelevant on fight night next month.

Since back-to-back losses to Ronaldo Souza and Israel Adesanya appeared to suggest he’d slipped to the …

Derek Brunson, Jared Cannonier

UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier says upcoming opponent Derek Brunson’s blonde “gimmick” will be irrelevant on fight night next month.

Since back-to-back losses to Ronaldo Souza and Israel Adesanya appeared to suggest he’d slipped to the role of veteran gatekeeper at 185 pounds, Brunson has been in the form of his life. What did his change in fortunes coincide with? A new blonde hairstyle.

“Blonde Brunson” debuted against Edmen Shahbazyan in the UFC Vegas 5 main event in 2020. At that point, the 38-year-old was already on a two-fight win streak, having had his hand raised against both Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch. But while Brunson’s career had previously been a tale of beating those below but often falling short against the elite, “Blonde Brunson” was a different beast.

After brutally handing hot-prospect Shahbazyan his first loss, Brunson went on to halt the charge of five-time 2020 victor Kevin Holland last March, before submitting former welterweight title challenger Darren Till in his third-straight main event.

Brunson is now set for the chance to stake his claim for a title shot and a rematch with “The Last Stylebender.” If he’s to do so, he’ll have to get through Jared Cannonier, who boasts championship aspirations of his own. The pair are set to collide on the UFC 271 main card on February 12.

Cannonier: Brunson’s Blonde Hair Won’t Stop An Ass-Whooping

While the “Blonde Brunson” gimmick is unbeaten in the Octagon to date and has firmly broken free of the gatekeeper shackles non-blonde Brunson was in three years ago, Cannonier has reminded his upcoming opponent that whatever color hair he has, it won’t change the result.

During a recent interview with LowKick MMA, “The Killa Gorilla” credited Brunson for being able to keep himself relevant with another iteration of himself. However, the former heavyweight and light heavyweight fighter noted it has no relevancy to their fight, which he believes will see the 38-year-old get his “ass whooped.”

“I mean, it’s a gimmick. Good for him. He’s found another gimmick that keeps him relevant for a little while longer,” said Cannonier. “But that shit is irrelevant to me. Those are all antics and that has absolutely fuck all to do with me whooping your ass. So that’s it.”

After a damaging loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 in October 2020, both physically and his surge towards the title, Cannonier rebounded in style when he returned to action in 2021. In a main event contest against perennial contender Kelvin Gastelum, “The Killa Gorilla” returned to to the win column with a comfortable victory on the scorecards.

Sitting at #3 in the division with a 4-1 middleweight record, which includes wins against Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson, Cannonier will be looking to book a date with Adesanya when he faces Brunson at next month’s pay-per-view.

If Cannonier has his way, he’ll be turning “Blonde Brunson” into “Blood Brunson” come February 12.

Do you expect Jared Cannonier to get the better of “Blonde Brunson” at UFC 271?

Continue Reading Jared Cannonier: Blonde Brunson Gimmick Is Irrelevant To Me at MMA News.

EXCLUSIVE | Jared Cannonier Expects Derek Brunson To Wrestle, Predicts Knockout Win At UFC 271

Jared CannonierJared Cannonier has certainly made no bones about his game plan for his UFC 271 showdown and potential title-eliminator with Derek Brunson – predicting a knockout win over the North Carolina veteran, whom he believes will enter the Octagon with the intent of wrestling early and often. Cannonier, who returned to the winner’s enclosure back […]

Jared Cannonier

Jared Cannonier has certainly made no bones about his game plan for his UFC 271 showdown and potential title-eliminator with Derek Brunson – predicting a knockout win over the North Carolina veteran, whom he believes will enter the Octagon with the intent of wrestling early and often.

Cannonier, who returned to the winner’s enclosure back in August at UFC Vegas 34, managed to secure a unanimous decision win over former interim middleweight title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum. The win kept Cannonier alive and kicking in the middleweight title hunt, landing him at #3 following a prior loss to former division best, Robert Whittaker.

Jared Cannonier currently boasts a 4-1 record at middleweight since his division move

For Brunson, the top-10 mainstay has enjoyed a certain purple-patch recently, extending his winning spree to five straight victories with a September third round guillotine win over former welterweight title challenger, Darren Till. The win came as Brunson’s second of the year, following a dominant wrestling display en route to a unanimous judging success against Kevin Holland.

Originally expected to meet next weekend at UFC 270 on January 22. – the bout between Cannonier and Brunson has been elevated to UFC 271 on February 12. – beneath a middleweight title rematch between champion, Israel Adesanya, and the above mentioned, Whittaker. 

With the victor likely to challenge for spoils in their next outing, Cannonier recently spoke with LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch, where he provided his thoughts on how a matchup with Brunson could play out, from a stylistic point of view. 

“I think, stylistically – we’ve all heard that old moniker, ‘striker vs. grappler’ thing,” Jared Cannonier said. “And it’s a prevalent aspect of this fight. Pretty much, his only means of victory is to impose his wrestling. Of course, he’s got that power, he’s got that long, lunging left hand that we’re all accustomed to seeing and stuff like that so. And he’s got that ground-and-pound as well. 

“I think one thing leads to another and it’s always gonna lead to his wrestling,” Jared Cannonier continued. “And especially when he fights me, it’s gonna have to be, you know – that’s it. You’re gonna have to wrestle if you wanna win a fight with me, but that’s gonna be hard, that’s gonna be a hard mountain to climb. Especially with the fact that I know he’s gonna have to wrestle me. … We’re working on what he’s gonna bring to the table. I think the game plan we’re formulating is great. I feel like we’re already ahead of schedule as far as implementing the skills, the techniques, the ability to ‘do’. The outlook is bleak for Derek Brunson as far as I’m concerned.”

As far as a prediction for the fight, Cannonier explained how he wants to create the opportunity to land a right-hand shot early, resulting in a stoppage victory.

“I envision, the ref saying, ‘Go’, we walk up – maybe we shake hands, maybe we don’t, “Jared Cannonier said. “But I’m gonna create some sort of action, create some energy or momentum and put myself in the position to land my right hand. And he won’t be able to withstand it.”

EXCLUSIVE | Jared Cannonier Isn’t Sold On Derek Brunson’s ‘Blonde Brunson’ Gimmick

Jared Cannonier, Derek BrunsonUFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier doesn’t believe that Derek Brunson’s hairstyle and perceived alter-ego will change how their fight goes down at UFC 271. Cannonier faces Brunson in a potential No. 1 contender fight in the UFC 271 co-headliner. He is coming off an impressive win over Kelvin Gastelum last August and has won four […]

Jared Cannonier, Derek Brunson

UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier doesn’t believe that Derek Brunson’s hairstyle and perceived alter-ego will change how their fight goes down at UFC 271.

Cannonier faces Brunson in a potential No. 1 contender fight in the UFC 271 co-headliner. He is coming off an impressive win over Kelvin Gastelum last August and has won four of his last five fights in the division.

Many believe that Brunson’s five-fight winning streak has to do with his dyed blonde hair. The term ‘Blonde Brunson’ has been alluded to as an alter-ego and different form of Brunson who enters the octagon.

During an exclusive interview with LowKickMMA’s James Lynch, Cannonier said he isn’t phased by Brunson’s new image and career turnaround.

“It’s a gimmick, good for him,” Cannonier said. “He found a gimmick that will keep relevant for a little while longer. That s**t is irrelevant to me. That’s all antics, and that has f**k-all to do with me whopping [his] a**.”

Jared Cannonier Has Been Considered As The Dark Horse Of The Middleweight Division

Cannonier has been a target of middleweight champion Israel Adesanya over the past few years. Adesanya has spoken in multiple interviews about how he respects Cannonier and would gladly give him a shot at his middleweight title.

Brunson on the other hand is looking for a rematch against Adesanya, after falling to him at UFC 230. He’s been on fire since that loss, earning dominant wins over Darren Till, Kevin Holland, and Edmen Shahbazyan in the octagon.

All eyes will be on the middleweight division at UFC 271. The main event will feature Adesanya and Robert Whittaker in a title rematch years in the making, along with Cannonier and Brunson. The winners of these two fights will more than likely be in the next title bout in 2022.

What is your prediction for Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson?

EXCLUSIVE | Robert Whittaker Reflects On UFC 243 Loss To Israel Adesanya: ‘It Wasn’t Me Out There’

Robert WhittakerAhead of his UFC middleweight championship rematch with current kingpin, Israel Adesanya next month, former titleholder, Robert Whittaker has reflected deeply on his title unification loss to the City Kickboxing standout back in October 2019. Headlining the Melbourne, Australia card on home soil, Whittaker dropped his first and only loss at middleweight since, succumbing to […]

Robert Whittaker

Ahead of his UFC middleweight championship rematch with current kingpin, Israel Adesanya next month, former titleholder, Robert Whittaker has reflected deeply on his title unification loss to the City Kickboxing standout back in October 2019.

Headlining the Melbourne, Australia card on home soil, Whittaker dropped his first and only loss at middleweight since, succumbing to second round strikes against the then-interim middleweight champion at UFC 243. The loss snapped Whittaker’s lengthy 12-fight undefeated run at 185lbs.

Robert Whittaker rides a three-fight winning run into his UFC 271 rematch with Israel Adesanya

In the time since, however, Whittaker has successfully rebounded to title contention once again, and rides an impressive three-fight winning spree into his UFC 271 rematch on February 12. 

However, questions have been constantly posed to the Melbourne-born technician ahead of his title re-run with Adesanya, particularly regarding a reckless approach to the 2019 title unification bout, that resulted in his championship loss. 

Reflecting on the result and his performance during a recent interview with LowKick MMA reporter, Jordan Ellis, Whittaker admitted that he wasn’t satisfied with the display he turned in – regardless of result.

“That’s the over-arching feature: it’s the feeling I get moving into this next fight,” Robert Whittaker said. “It’s that, you know – I am confident, and I am satisfied with who I am, and why I do it, and what I’m doing to get to this fight (at UFC 271). That, when I get in there, I’m going to give it my absolute, 100 percent. And I will be satisfied with the result if I can do that.”

“Because I didn’t get that satisfaction after the first fight (against Israel Adesanya),” Robert Whittaker continued. “I lost, but I didn’t feel like I gave 100 percent, I didn’t feel like  – it wasn’t me out there. I felt like, in the lead-up, it wasn’t how I wanted to do things. So like I said, if I can do all that in this fight moving forward, I’ll be satisfied.”

Since his knockout loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has compiled a three-fight winning run, taking unanimous decision wins against the trio of Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and in April, against common-foe, Kelvin Gastelum.

EXCLUSIVE | Robert Whittaker Expects ‘Respectful’ Build-Up To UFC 271

Robert WhittakerFormer UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker isn’t expecting him and Israel Adesanya to talk a lot of trash ahead of UFC 271. Whittaker lost the middleweight title to Adesanya at UFC 243 in front of a raucous crowd in Melbourne, AU. After getting knocked out, Whittaker has managed to work his way back to the […]

Robert Whittaker

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker isn’t expecting him and Israel Adesanya to talk a lot of trash ahead of UFC 271.

Whittaker lost the middleweight title to Adesanya at UFC 243 in front of a raucous crowd in Melbourne, AU. After getting knocked out, Whittaker has managed to work his way back to the title shot and possible revenge against Adesanya.

Whittaker and Adesanya dove head-first into Australia vs. New Zealand rivalry ahead of UFC 243. While there wasn’t obvious hate and disdain between the two of them, there was surely tension and a bit of mental warfare leading up to the fight.

During an exclusive interview with LowKickMMA’s Jordan Ellis, Whittaker spoke about the possibility of lightning striking twice when it comes to the pre-fight fanfare.

“The only thing I can control is myself and my actions,” Whittaker said. “I have completely come to terms with why I do things, how I do things, and my ego certainly won’t be a problem going into the next fight.

“I don’t see myself getting affected as much. I think him seeing that he won’t try and push it,” Whittaker continued. I think we can have a really respectful fight. It’s the second fight and we’re the two biggest names down this side of the world so, yeah, I think it’ll be something different.”

Robert Whittaker Has Worked His Way Back To The UFC Middleweight Title

Whittaker has won three fights in a row since his first UFC middleweight loss to Adesanya. He’s earned three-straight unanimous decisions over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum over the past two years.

During this same time, Adesanya has emerged as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and has dominated challengers to his throne. He most recently put on a striking clinic against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.

Regardless of what happens at UFC 271, it’s clear that Whittaker and Adesanya will be directly linked for years to come. This time around, it’s all business between the two best middleweights in the world.

What is your prediction for Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya 2?