Francis Ngannou believes he’s ready for a title shot following his 26-second finish of Cain Velasquez at UFC on ESPN 1, but Dana White has other ideas.
White appeared on Sunday’s post-fight show on ESPN+, where he acknowledged that Ngannou’s team was already angling for an opportunity to face reigning heavyweight king Daniel Cormier.
“Cormier has a date set right now with somebody else right now,” White said. “He’s injured, so we’re waiting for him to heal up and get him his fight that he’s looking for. We’ll see what’s next for Francis.”
When asked if he could reveal Cormier’s opponent, White declined due to the champion’s uncertain status at the moment.
“Nothing can be released until he’s healthy and we know he’s ready to go,” White said. “Until he gives me the call that he’s ready to fight again…no.”
Cormier recently confirmed that he will fight on past his 40th birthday, which was his original target date for retirement. “DC” is still recovering from back issues that nearly caused him to pull out of UFC 230 in November. It’s no secret that Cormier’s most coveted opponent before he calls it a career would be Brock Lesnar, but it remains unclear if that matchup will come to fruition.
However, Cormier also seemed open to the possibility of avenging his close friend’s loss when asked about facing Ngannou following UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday.
“Every time we see something like that the emotions tell you go get it back. You go make it right,” Cormier said on SportsCenter. “Francis Ngannou, he didn’t ask for a fight. Maybe later he will. And if that’s something that we decide what we want to do, that’s what I’ll do. I won’t go fight Francis Ngannou, I’ll go beat Francis Ngannou.”