Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou will face the third-ranked Junior dos Santos on June 29 in Minneapolis. With heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier already booked to rematch former champion Stipe Miocic in August, it seems likely that the winner of this matchup will earn the next title shot.
"The Predator" spoke to media today about his upcoming main event bout and explained that being scheduled for five rounds did not influence his decision to accept the fight. "Not at all, because, anyway, I don't think this fight [is] gonna go to five rounds. And, at that time we still have time to adjust to everything, you know, so it was okay."
Despite carrying serious knockout power, Ngannou is still fairly new to mixed martial arts, at least as compared to some of the top fighters in his division. "Cigano," for example, is a veteran of 26 professional fights with a record of 21-5 and has proved victorious in his last three outings. Ngannou is 13-3 with his two recent wins coming against notable opponents Cain Velasquez and Curtis Blaydes. But on paper, dos Santos is seen as the more well-rounded MMA fighter, particularly because of his slick boxing and expert grappling.
But Ngannou remains unfazed by his opponent's pedigree, telling the media that he believes he has the better standup game. "I think I am the best boxer in the heavyweight division, and [I'm] gonna prove it on the 29th, because, yes, he is a very good boxer, but I have to show that I'm better."