Two-Cent Tuesdays on Francis Ngannou, Deiveson Figueiredo's next move, and more
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Here are some random from your still-heartbroken-Buffalo Bills fan friend …
If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you all to watch Francis Ngannou’s interview on The MMA Hour yesterday. Considering who he is in the sport (the heavyweight freaking champion of the world) and the state of his contract (no fights left), I’d argue it’s one of the most important interviews in the show’s almost 13-year history, and I’m very grateful that he came on the show yesterday to discuss it all with us.
So much to unpack from that interview, most of which I mentioned right after he signed off, but I’ll add this: when I was watching Joe Rogan interview Ngannou after the fight, I thought it was rather odd that he asked him a question about boxing. They never do that. Especially since there were, like, 50 other questions pertaining to the fight one could have asked (not to mention a follow-up on the knee injury). And then we find out about that legal e-mail they received on the night of the fight, and, well, I can’t help but wonder if Rogan was asked to ask that question to trip up Ngannou. Because, again, in the moment, it seemed really out of place, considering how they usually handle those situations.
For those who don’t know, all broadcasters wear an ear piece (aka an IFB) so the producer can speak to them during the show, so it’s possible someone asked him to ask that.
If you missed it, Ngannou said his right knee needs to be surgically-repaired, but he’s still unsure if he’s going to go under the knife now. One wonders if he’ll wait to see how this whole situation plays out before making that call.
I see some people comparing Ngannou’s situation to Randy Couture’s over a decade ago. Remember, back in 2007, Couture (along with Mark Cuban) tried to challenge the UFC’s contract so he could fight Fedor Emelianenko, but to no avail. It’s a fair comparison, but the difference is Couture had several fights left on his deal, while Ngannou doesn’t. That’s a major difference.
Speaking of which, here’s a fun trip down memory lane. This was a wild time in the sport, however, it ultimately led to little because Couture ended up returning to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 91.
Another big difference? The sport is infinitely popular and more mainstream today than it was back then. Don’t take that for granted.