One of the most anticipated fights of 2018 amounted to little more than an uneventful staring contest that left a sour taste in the mouth of those watching.
One fight can make a serious difference in a competitor’s confidence and in the case of UFC 226 co-main event headliner Francis Ngannou, the fire that saw him set the division ablaze last year seemed to be completely deadened last night.
Facing the always-hittable but heavy-handed Derrick Lewis, Ngannou’s output was so low compared to his earlier run, it led many to believe that his UFC 220 battering at the hands of Stipe Miocic was enough to really make him question himself as a fighter.
I can’t stress enough how bad this fight was, but thankfully – the good folks on Twitter make it abundantly clear how unimpressed they were with the lackluster three-rounder.
Total number of strikes thrown between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis: 33
– 11 strikes thrown by Ngannou
– 22 strikes thrown by Lewis
Joe Rogan calls it the worst heavyweight fight he's ever seen.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 8, 2018
Amazing fight. I have Lewis up 20-18, as he has outstruck Ngannou two strikes to one.
— The Naked Gambler (@NakedGambling) July 8, 2018
That sucked. We can all agree on that. I want to hear from Francis Ngannou. What happened? Pretty clear Derrick Lewis' back hurt, but what happened to Ngannou. That division is better with scary Ngannou. I hope he's not gone.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 8, 2018
So bad. Miocic stole Ngannou’s soul. No interview after a fight like that. #UFC226
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) July 8, 2018
Dana White on Ngannou: I think his ego ran away with him big-time. I can tell you that his ego ran away from him. I had some personal encounters with him, as did some others in the organization, and I can tell you his ego was out of control. #UFC226
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) July 8, 2018
Francis is gonna be pissed when he realizes he gave the fight away. That was just NOT OK. From both Ngannou and Lewis. I'm legit angry we didn't see what we were promised. #UFC226
— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) July 8, 2018
In the end, Lewis edged it on the scorecard but in truth, neither man could hold their head high after this one.
Dana White made it clear that he felt as though Ngannou’s ego had taken a serious hit following his title-loss to Miocic but after so much hype – seeing the two hardest hitting fighters in the UFC today just fell flat in the face of the great expectations attached to it.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena