Francis Ngannou's motivation goes deeper than MMA ahead of UFC 218 fight vs. Alistair Overeem

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LAS VEGAS – The biggest fight of Francis Ngannou’s young career is right around the corner, and it’s not lost on the UFC heavyweight rising star why he’s reached this point so quickly.

Ngannou, who’s fought MMA professionally for just four years, is set to take on Alistair Overeem in what is widely considered a title eliminator Dec. 2 at UFC 218 from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. Not only are the stakes the highest they’ve ever been for Ngannou, it’s also his first appearance on pay-per-view – and in the co-main event, no less.

Through five UFC fights, Ngannou’s power and athleticism have overwhelmed opponents, leading to all five victories via stoppage. Take one look at his massive frame, and his ability seems natural. Ngannou, though, says it’s bigger than that.

“I think the main thing is motivation,” Ngannou said Monday following an open workout at the UFC Performance Institute. “My strength, my power, it’s all about my mind. When I look back where I’m from, look at my family, it’s kind of scary. I want to change things back. I don’t want my kids or my son to live the same thing I lived in my life. That is motivation.”

Ngannou’s journey from homelessness to UFC contender has been documented before. He never forgets where he came from. And as he prepares to face Overeem, Ngannou’s mother, who remains in his native Cameroon, continues to weigh on his mind.

“When I look at my family, when I look at my mom, I hope I will be able to help her,” Ngannou said. “I hope she will be proud of me. She gave all of what she had for us. That’s my motivation.”

It’s a big reason Ngannou left Paris and moved to Las Vegas this year in hopes of further advancing his career by taking advantage of all the state-of-the-art UFC Performance Institute has to offer.

In Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Ngannou  (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) faces his biggest challenge to date. For his part, Ngannou said there isn’t one particular skill he’s honing in preparation for the former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion.

“We aren’t working on anything, because I’m an opportunity fighter,” Ngannou said. “I’m not just a striker. I’m not a wrestler or grappler. I’m a fighter, an opportunity fighter. I like to finish my fight and be able to shape my skills and take every opportunity I get in the fight.”

Speaking of opportunity, despite Fabricio Werdum’s belief that he’s deserving of a title shot following his UFC Fight Night 121 victory over the weekend, Ngannou said there’s no way to keep him from a date with champ Stipe Miocic if he beats Overeem.

“Stipe took the belt from Werdum, and that was not a long time ago,” Ngannou said. “Yes, Werdum deserves, but right now I deserve it more. I win this fight, I will be the legit challenger.”

He added, “If I beat the No. 1, there’s no way to avoid it.”

To hear more from Ngannou, check out the video above. And to watch his workout from Monday, click on the video below.

And for more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 218 lineup features 13 fights and featherweight title on the line in return to Detroit

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With an amended main event rematch, the lineup is set for next month’s UFC 218 pay-per-view in Michigan.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA 145-pound rankings (and No. 8 pound-for-pound), looks to defend his title for the first time when he meets former champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in a rematch. Holloway was supposed to fight Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) before Edgar pulled out with an injury.

The co-main event could serve as a title-eliminator in the heavyweight division. No. 2-ranked Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a battle of heavy-handed strikers.

Rounding out the main card, Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at flyweight; Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in a fight between current “TUF” coaches; and strawweight Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

The featured bout on the preliminary card is at lightweight. Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) takes on Charles Oliveira (22-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC), who replaced an injured Al Iaquinta.

The full “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo” card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Not to toot his own horn, but Fabricio Werdum knows his UFC title-shot credentials are best

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SYDNEY – Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum wants a title shot after picking up his second victory in a 42-day stretch. His argument? No one in the weight class is more deserving.

“I feel for sure I deserve it,” Werdum told MMAjunkie following his unanimous decision win over Marcin Tybura in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 headliner. “It’s not just now for this fight and my last fight. I’ve beat a lot of guys – Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Minotauro (Nogueira). I have a history. For 20 years I’ve been fighting. Not just now. I have two belts in my home. Only one fighter in the world is a jiu-jitsu champion, a submission champion and a UFC champion. It’s me.

“I don’t like when I say that, but I know this is true for sure. Given the opportunity I just want to show again. One more belt on my wall at home, I will stop after that. No, no, I’m joking.”

Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) beat Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in lopsided fashion in the UFC Fight Night 121 main event, which took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and aired on FS1. “Vai Cavalo” stepped into the fight as a short-notice replacement after beating Walt Harris by 65-second submission at UFC 216 in October, and he managed to put on another strong performance.

As a former titleholder with wins over a bevy of competition, Werdum believes he should be next to challenge current heavyweight king Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). The Brazilian lost the title to Miocic by first-round knockout at UFC 198 in May 2016 and has been working toward a rematch ever since.

Currently, the winner of next month’s UFC 218 co-headliner between Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) figures to fight for the belt. Despite the fact he suffered a majority-decision loss to Overeem at UFC 213 in July, Werdum believes his overall resume is stronger than anyone. He’s willing to continue to fight to prove it and hopes the UFC keeps him active.

“I want to fight more,” Werdum said. “Long time ago I’ve been waiting one year for a fight. Why am I waiting like six months, seven months? I want to fight more. I want to fight maybe five times a year. This fight (Alistair) Overeem vs. Francis (Ngannou), I don’t think Francis deserves it yet because he just started (MMA) now. Overeem has a big history, too, but I think I deserve the title shot. I just want the opportunity.”

One person Werdum said he wouldn’t fight next is Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who he was scheduled to fight at UFC 216 before “The Black Beast” withdrew on fight day due to injury. Werdum said he doesn’t want to try running that fight back but also wouldn’t name any potential next opponents outside the champion.

After a quick turnaround and high-paced fight with Tybura over five rounds, Werdum said he looks forward to a brief rest, and praised his UFC Fight Night 121 opponent for the challenging scrap.

“I’m very tired, because it’s five rounds, five minutes,” Werdum said. “Tybura is a very tough fighter. I know this before. He’s a very young guy. He deserves it. I used my experience there. Everybody saw that. I tried to finish the fight a lot of times. He had good defense.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Fabricio Werdum not so sure Alistair Overeem-Francis Ngannou winner deserves UFC title shot

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SYDNEY – The prevailing notion is that the winner of next month’s UFC 218 showdown between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou will be at the front of the line for a shot at Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight championship.

Fabricio Werdum, however, sees things differently.

“I think I deserve it,” Werdum on Wednesday told MMAjunkie in Sydney.

When Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) says he deserves it, of course, that’s assuming he defeats Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the FS1-televised main event of UFC Fight Night 121 on Saturday at Qudos Bank Arena. Prelims air on FS1 followed by early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Since May of last year, when he lost the title to Miocic, Werdum has alternated losses and wins, and that includes dropping a majority decision to Overeem in July at UFC 213. Most recently, though, Werdum easily dispatched Walt Harris last month, submitting him in 65 seconds at UFC 216.

As impressive as it was, the win over Harris didn’t do Werdum any favors the way a win over Derrick Lewis – who withdrew the day of the fight – would have. But for Werdum, his case as to why he’s deserving of the title shot with a win over Tybura doesn’t come down to just one performance.

“It’s not just about my last fight,” said Werdum, who’s ranked No. 2 in the official UFC rankings. “I think about everything in my career – 20 years of history. I don’t know. I’m just waiting.”

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), officially ranked No. 4, recently told MMAjunkie Radio that he believes a win against No. 1 Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) definitely will earn him the next title shot, a claim that Werdum is likely to take issue with considering “The Predator’s” relative inexperience. The 40-year-old Werdum is making his 15th UFC appearance on Saturday. Overeem has five fights with the promotion under his belt.

Werdum, it seems, would have an easier time accepting getting passed over for Overeem than he would Ngannou.

“I think I deserve it. Overeem is there, too. I don’t know about Francis being there to fight for a title shot yet,” Werdum said. “I don’t know. I respect him, too. But I think he’s not (ready). Maybe Overeem, yes. But I’m waiting, too.”

All of this become a moot point if Werdum can’t get the job done against Tybura. Werdum has more to lose by facing the eighth-ranked Polish fighter, but Werdum said he isn’t feeling any pressure.

“Zero pressure. I don’t have pressure,” Werdum said. “The pressure comes from training – if you have an injury, different things. But this time I’m good. No injuries. I’m 40, but my mind is 28. Everything is good. I’ve been waiting for this fight. …

“My goal is the belt. It doesn’t matter who has the belt around his waste. My goal is the belt. It doesn’t matter if it’s Miocic or Overeem or other guys. That’s it. This is my big goal.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Enough with 'could,' says Francis Ngannou: UFC 218 win will earn me title shot

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Sure, Francis Ngannou is excited about his upcoming UFC 218 meeting with Alistair Overeem.

Just don’t tell him that winning could be the thing to make him the next challenger to Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight belt.

“No, enough ‘could be,’” Ngannou told MMAjunkie Radio. “It will be.”

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) isn’t just excited about meeting Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC). Having been away from the octagon since his 92-second knockout of Andrei Arlovski back in January, with a scrapped UFC 215 appointment in between, Ngannou is ecstatic to be back.

That it gets to be against a man who happened to have held DREAM, K-1 and Strikeforce titles – and challenged for a UFC belt?

Well, that’s a plus.

“And then to know that something bigger is coming. Opportunities are becoming bigger and bigger,” Ngannou said. “I’m very excited, because that fight will probably change the level of things.

“I’ve been preparing for this for a long time. I’ve been within this moment almost my whole life. And now I feel like I’m next to the goal. I’m next to it. And I’m really, really excited for it. I feel ready for everything.”

The heavyweight bout between Ngannou and Overeem is set to co-headline UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit. The event will air on pay-per-view, following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou isn’t all talk, either. Currently holding an unblemished UFC record with five finishes, he’s taken practical steps to make sure his career delivers on its promise. Earlier this year, for instance, Ngannou left his home in France and relocated full time to Las Vegas to take advantage of the UFC Performance Institute.

Ngannou hasn’t committed to a gym yet. Rather, having had a tough time finding single headquarters with a high concentration of fellow heavyweights, he tries to get what he needs from different places.

His jiu-jitsu, for example, has currently found some help in grappling ace and UFC vet Vinny Magalhaes. The UFC Performance Institute, he says, also helps with other needs.

“But everything is OK,” Ngannou said. “I just take my time to feel how I do things.”

Whether that will translate to results in the octagon remains to be seen as the heavyweight hasn’t fought since moving. But, as much as he wouldn’t mind bringing some of his coaches and training partners from France if he could, Ngannou believes there’s been enough to compensate for what he’s missed.

“You’re going to move forward. You’re going to try to adapt,” Ngannou said. “To not think about what you miss, but think about what you get.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Francis Ngannou roasts Alistair Overeem for Instagram photo to hype UFC 218 fight

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UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou is aptly known as “The Predator.” Crocodiles are actual predators in the wild.

And so Alistair Overeem, Ngannous’s UFC 218 opponent, was being clever by sharing a photo on Instagram of when he lifted (“caught”) a crocodile (“predator”) with his bare hands to hype their pay-per-view co-main event that could be a title eliminator.

Instagram Photo

Caught this predator a few years ago. Looking forward to catch another one on December 2. ~ 27 days to go. #reemisdetroit #ufc218 #detroit#predator #thereem

That post was on Sunday. Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) saw the photo and today took the opportunity to roast Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) for it.

This guy is funny! He’s thinking that on December 2nd he’s going to play with a baby animal in the petting ZOO 🤣🤣🤣

As Ngannou points out, that crocodile’s mouth is sealed shut, which is the equivalent of fighting “The Predator” with his hands tied behind his back. So, yeah, Ngannou kind of got Overeem on this one.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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With 13th bout, 'UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar' lineup finalized

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With a final addition to the fight card, the lineup is set for next month’s UFC 218 event.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

A heavyweight bout between Allen Crowder (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Justin Willis (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the latest addition to the card and serves as the curtain-jerker.

Crowder, a 27-year-old from North Carolina, picked up a UFC contract after a third-round TKO win over Don’Tale Mayes at DWCS 8. It marked his second straight victory and his sixth stoppage in seven career wins. He now meets Willis, a 30-year-old American Kickboxing Academy member who made his UFC debut in July and scored a decision victory over James Mulheron. It was his fifth straight victory.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA 145-pound rankings (and No. 8 pound-for-pound), looks to defend his title for the first time when he meets former lightweight champ and perennial contender Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC), who’s ranked No. 3.

The co-main event could serve as a title-eliminator as No. 2-ranked Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a battle of heavyweight strikers.

Rounding out the main card are No. 3 flyweight Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. No. 6 Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), No. 3-ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. former champ and No. 5 Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), and No. 7 strawweight Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) vs. honorable mention Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

The featured prelim boasts Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Charles Oliveira (22-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC). As MMAjunkie reported on Tuesday, Oliveira replaced injured Al Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who’s ranked No. 14 at lightweight.

The full “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar” card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

What do you think of UFC 218's official poster (and Frankie Edgar's 'crazy eyes')?

Dann StuppCheck out the official poster for UFC 218, which got a mixed review from headliner Frankie Edgar.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

On paper, it’s a pretty solid lineup: a title fight, notable names, intriguing matchups and vets with lots of finishes – all in a variety of weight classes.

Here’s the official poster:

With a featherweight title fight between streaking Hawaiian champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC) and fan favorite Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) in the headliner, “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar” also features heavyweights Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) vs. former title challenger Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC).

All four are featured on the poster, though as Edgar wonders, “Why they got me all crazy eyed?” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

(But hey – at least he didn’t point out the misspelling of “championship” on the poster.)

The latest UFC 218 card includes:

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Francis Ngannou was willing to fight Fabricio Werdum last minute after Derrick Lewis withdrew

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LAS VEGAS – Francis Ngannou attempted to save the day at UFC 216, but unfortunately an unanswered phone call prevented that from happening.

Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) said he had a gut feeling something would happen to derail tonight’s UFC 216 heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The worst happened just minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, when news broke Lewis’ lingering back issues would prevent him from competing.

Ultimately the UFC managed to cobble together a scenario that saw Walt Harris moved up from the undercard into the matchup with Werdum, but Ngannou said he wanted that spot.

“It’s a good matchup. Definitely this is a good matchup that I would never dodge it,” Ngannou said backstage. “I knew I was going to fight Alistair Overeem one day. I’ve been waiting for this fight and got ready for it since a long time ago.

“I got no answer, but I called when I saw the news. I tried to contact the matchmaker (Mick Maynard). He was busy. If I call, and he picks up, I say, ‘OK, I’m ready for him.’ … Honestly I would take the fight. I’ve been preparing for this, maybe something was going to happen between Werdum and Lewis. I’ve been preparing for this in case somebody pull out of this fight. I feel like something was going to happen. I got ready for it. … It was last minute, there was no way to change with the commissions.”

UFC 216 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Ngannou hasn’t fought since a knockout of Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 22 in January. He’s been eager to get back in the octagon since, especially after his planned UFC 215 matchup with Junior Dos Santos was called off just weeks prior to the September event.

“The Predator” said he would have stepped in on fight day at UFC 216 if red tape from the commission wouldn’t have made it impossible, but fortunately, Ngannou still has a massive fight ahead of him.

Ngannou is scheduled to meet Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in December’s UFC 218 co-main event. If he were to win, he would be on a divisional-best six-fight winning streak and in perfect position to challenge current heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). Although he hasn’t been promised a title shot with a win against Overeem, there’s no doubt from Ngannou that it’s going to happen.

“I think after the fight there is no way to deny me the title shot,” Ngannou said. “I’m sure I’ll beat Alistair and get a title shot. I still haven’t fought the champion. There’s no way not to give me the title shot after this fight.”

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 216's Fabricio Werdum: I deserve title shot with impressive win over Derrick Lewis

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LAS VEGAS – With the UFC heavyweight title picture growing increasingly crowded, Fabricio Werdum believes he can get the next crack at champion Stipe Miocic with a win over Derrick Lewis at UFC 216.

Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who meets Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the featured bout on UFC 216’s pay-per-view main card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass, is only two fights removed from losing the heavyweight belt to Miocic by first-round knockout at UFC 198 in May 2016.

Despite the fact he’s also coming off a loss to Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who is scheduled to fight Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a crucial contender bout at UFC 218 in December, Werdum believes he can slide into the No. 1 contender spot vs. Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) with an impressive performance against Lewis.

“I deserve (a title shot),” Werdum told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 216 media day. “Stipe (hasn’t fought) for a long time. I don’t know how long, but he don’t fight for a long time. I think all three. Me, Overeem and Francis can go for the title shot. I think maybe, maybe, if Derrick Lewis beats me (he can get one). But he doesn’t deserve it at this moment to go for the title shot.

“I think a good fight, a good submission, a good knockout, fans will say, ‘Werdum, you’re the next one.’ … I believe I should go for the title shot again.”

At 40, Werdum’s timeframe to regain heavyweight gold is seemingly shrinking with each passing day. He said he’s healthy and injury-free going into UFC 216, though, and intends to deliver a performance that shows exactly what he’s capable of.

Werdum, No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, has never lost consecutive fights during his career, and after the setback against Overeem at UFC 213 in July, he wants to use No. 12-ranked Lewis as a platform to not only bounce back, but prove he should be the one fighting Miocic next.

“I want to beat Derrick Lewis,” Werdum said. “I respect him a lo,  because I know he’s a top fighter. He has a good punch, he has good kicks too. He’s in my way. My goal is the title shot again.”

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie