Ngannou: I brought fear with me

Francis Ngannou has apologised to his fans for his poor performance against Derrick Lewis at UFC 226.

The heavyweight clash had all the makings of a blockbuster, with two of the UFC’s biggest hitters in the octagon. But with Lewis clearly hampered by a back issue and Ngannou reluctant to get on with it, the fight was anything but, with just 33 strikes landed in the three round fight.

Ngannou came into the bout off a decision loss to then champion Stipe Miocic in January, where conditioning proved to be his shortfall, running out of gas halfway through the fight. This lead to a more cautioned approach, but the Cameroon-born star took it too far.

“I am not proud of my last performance,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I have carried my fear from the last fight to this one. I completely understand the frustration & anger that it has caused to my fans, coaches, teammates, family and friends and I am truly sorry for that. I won’t let everyone down again. All I can do now is prove myself and make you proud again.”

It is unclear what the future holds for Ngannou, who looked so promising following his devastating KO win over Alistair Overeem. UFC overlord Dana White already expressed his displeasure with him, which certainly does not help Ngannou’s case for another high profile clash.