While Brock Lesnar's return to the UFC last year at UFC 200 backfired, that hasn't dampened his drawing power any.
Now, current UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou — who has a title fight against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic booked for January in Boston — has unveiled his dream fight. And it's none other than the beast himself, Brock Lesnar.
For those not familiar with Ngannou, he's about to become a household name. The hulking French-Cameroonian fighter has terrorized the UFC's heavyweight division since joining its ranks. Most recently, he demolished 'The Demolition Man,' sending Alistair Overeem to sleep at this month's UFC 218. Every single one of his UFC fights has ended in a stoppage. He also recently broke kickboxer Tyrone Sprong's world record for punching power.
Speaking to the Top Turtle Podcast this week, Ngannou spoke of his desire to face Lesnar in the cage.
"I’d always like to see the match between me and Brock Lesnar,” Ngannou said (via MMA Fighting). “Two big dudes. I like that match-up. I’m excited for that kind of match as a fan. … I want to see that match.
On Lesnar, the UFC title contender admitted that "He’s big. Huge, as you say. But he’s not stronger than me. I’m stronger than him. I’m the best striker in the heavyweight division and the more powerful guy. I’m also a talented guy and I will deal with that very easy.”
And the budding UFC star predicted that things against Lesnar would end as they usually do: "I always predict KO.”
“If he tries to stand up with me, he will not stand up too long,” Ngannou said. “And I think he will probably try something. He’s a good striker, but he doesn’t know how dangerous I am.”
The problem with this dream fight? Lesnar, whose WWE contract expires next year, is now 40. When he returned at UFC 200 last year, he put a beating on heavyweight fan favorite Mark Hunt, winning a three round unanimous decision. However, the celebration of Lesnar's return was quickly muted when he failed a drug test under the U.S. Anti-Doping agency. The win was turned to a No Contest, and Lesnar accepted a one year suspension from the sport. When he subsequently retired, he had six months remaining on that suspension, which would have to be served before any return.
A young Lesnar might have given Ngannou troubles in the wrestling department, but it's safe to say this bout is unlikely to happen. It does, however, demonstrate the continued hold Lesnar has over the sport, when even the current number one contender is calling him out.