Rising star Francis Ngannou revealed that beating reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is just one more step in his journey.
The Cameroon-born fighter produced one of the most stunning knockouts of the year against Alistair Overeem, flawing the former champion in the first round with a left hook from hell, leaving him flat on the mat, lights out and toes curled.
Now, Ngannou is on the the verge of superstardom, as the victory has set up a title clash of epic proportions against Miocic at UFC 220 on January 20.
“It’s very important, but does this mean anything? No, this is just one step,” the 31-year-old told MMA Junkie.
"Everything that I did or I’m doing is just one step of what I’m going to do. I’m not just looking to beat Stipe and be the champion and be complete. No, I’m looking forward to doing something really (special). I don’t know what, but maybe something that someone has never done.
“Sometimes I feel like it’s normal because even before my UFC debut, I always believed in myself. I always believed even before I started the sport in my life that I can do something really great. That’s probably the reason that I started the sport – because I feel that when you feel something in you and something that you can’t explain, you just have to do it to show people.”
Meanwhile, Miocic is in the form of his life, coming off four consecutive first round KO’s in the octagon. While Ngannou concedes that Miocic may have the edge on him in the wrestling department, he is unperturbed.
“Of course he’s a good wrestler, but my little technique, plus my power, I can stop it anywhere I want, when I want,” added Ngannou.
“Every single thing that he will try, I will stop it. I will put my trap everywhere, so he might bring himself in the trap, and I will just close the trap.”