Did Francis Ngannou even train grappling for UFC 220 title fight? Joe Rogan thinks not

Francis Ngannou was outclassed by Stipe Miocic in the UFC 220 main event, particularly on the ground. Now there’s some potential insight as to why.Ngannou’s (11-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) hype train was set back this past when weekend when he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Miocic (18-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) in the UFC 220 headliner, which took place at TD Garden in Boston and aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
“The Predator’s” major downfall in the contest stemmed from issues with grappling and conditioning. After slugging it out on the feet for most of the first round, Miocic began implementing his wrestling and wore his opponent down for the course of the five-round fight.
From finding a way to stand up to sweeps and potential submissions, Ngannou had little to offer when the fight was on the ground. His lack of experience in the sport certainly plays a part in that, but according to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, it was also a preparation issue.Rogan said on Monday’s edition of the “JRE MMA Show” podcast that after UFC 220 concluded, he heard a very different narrative about Ngannou than the one going into the event.
“Before, everyone was saying, ‘Oh my God, he’s in tremendous shape, everything is amazing,'” Rogan said. “Then afterwards it’s like, ‘Oh, he doesn’t train on the ground.’ What? He doesn’t train on the ground? They go, ‘All he wants to do is strike.’ You can’t let him do that. You can’t let him.
“He’s going to fight a Division-I wrestler,” he continued. “How is he going to do this? How is going to stand up? He’s going to magically get up? You have to train it.”
Following UFC 220, Ngannou was humble in defeat. He admitted he somewhat underestimated Miocic, likely brought on from the belief he would be able to dethrone the champion with an early knockout.Ngannou said he learned more from his first UFC loss than his six octagon victories prior, and if Rogan’s comments are true, the need to shore up his ground game is hopefully a lesson.
“I’m going to keep improving and come back stronger than I was,” Ngannou said. “I learned more (at UFC 220) than I did in the past four years.”For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.







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