Francis N’Gannou’s ‘Fear’ Raises Cornering Questions | Luke Thomas


UFC heavyweight Francis N’Gannou lost his UFC 226 co-main event bout to Derrick Lewis in what can be described as an historically bad fight. However, in a post-fight Instagram post, N’Gannou admitted he carried the ‘fear’ of his previous loss to Stipe Miocic into Saturday’s contest. That means there might be corner issues at play that are worth examination.



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31 Comments

  1. Luke,
    In all honesty this entire argument doesn’t seem logical or rational and I’m not entirely sure any aspect of it holds water.

    I disagree that Francis was getting beat up. In a fight where no one got beat up it seems like a pretty bizarre statement.
    With regards to the score sheets – again, it means nothing.
    Edgar had a similar score sheet against Faber, Silva against Diaz, etc.
    With regards to inactivity – Woodley had several fights (look at his fight against Rory) where he literally did nothing.

    So my point here is that all your arguments by themselves are nonsensical so what you’re really arguing is context (which I understand) but then the problem is that you can only truly judge it once it’s over.
    Either way I don’t see what any of it has to do with the corner. It’s not their job to stop the fight due to inactivity or to make a “this is a bad fight so lets stop it” call.
    So you’re arguing that they should have been able to essentially make a “psychological” prognosis on the fly and stop the fight because Francis couldn’t pull the trigger…
    If he was standing against the fence, shelled, taking a ferocious beating, round after round – then I could understand the criticism. In a fight where absolutely nothing happened to make such a decision makes no sense.
    By this logic Lewis’s corner should have stopped the fight because he had backache and he too was inactive. He basically had one OK shot in three rounds.

    There is also a fine line between what scars you and what trials by fire you need to go through.
    If Francis overcame his fears in the third round and started to lay punches the entire judgment would be false so it only exists because it didn’t (which we only know after the fact) but here again you’re expecting fighting corner-personal to make a psychiatric prognosis that can take months of analysis in treatment.

  2. francis has to pay what due? if he was being THAT badly wronged why didnt HE just quit? bottom line ive seen MUCH worse beatings that werent stopped. this doesnt even rank in my top 100. he barely got hit and stipe didnt really do SHIT on the ground. like DC said, if DC had been mauling ngannou for 5 rounds he would of SUBBED or KO'd him. stipe wasnt doing shit vs a man with 0 gas tank and 0 defense skills, it was shocking. ngannou was BEGGING ot be put out but miocic wasnt doing shit. the ONLY argument for stopping the fight was to save us FANS from being bored to DEATH lol

  3. This armchair qb chooch. Was Ngannu extremely cocky trading training for jetsetting to France the week of? Or maybe he just sucks at a high level? It happens more often than not. That's what breeds greatness. Luke "The Tony Kornheiser of MMA" Thomas is pussifying the sport. Either they have it or they don't in the moment. Leftists man…..

  4. If my corner EVER threw in towel for me, I would fire them that night. If I am breathing, I have a shot.
    Now, with that said, every person is different. I think where it falls on the corner is knowing your fighter. They should have known Francis enough to realize that would hurt him.
    Raquel's coaches knew that she would grow from her situation, and I would bet every penny I have that she IS better her next fight.
    How many people would have gave up on Darren Elkins 100 times over?
    Some people can take it farther mentally than others. It isnt the job of my corner to throw in the towel if I am getting hurt, I can find a way out of a fight if I am done. That said, I think it is on my corner to protect my fight mentality, whatever that may entail.
    It is hard to explain, and even harder to judge, bc some people never break, and those people you HAVE to let them ride. While others break at the first sign of trouble, and those people you HAVE to protect. Francis was done after the 2nd in that Stipe fight.

  5. I said during the fight the ref should've stopped it, he wasn't fighting back at all in the later rounds and should've been stopped as a tko.

  6. If a fighter wants out, they can tap out. The corner will only intervene in extreme cases.

  7. Physically Ngannou looked really good. Very light on his feet, lighter, fast and athletic. He was doing all the right things EXCEPT engaging. Trash performance don't get me wrong but it's not about the Stipe fight and the corner it's about his connection to the corner and what they are saying. They are yes men. Not once did i see his corner slapping him around in the 2nd and 3rd and telling him to engage

  8. I think people are being to hard on Francis. Dana 1 event is like he's a human Transformer with laser beams for hands. The next event he's like Francis is piece of shit with a big ego. This guy just started 5 years ago not knowing anything about MMA. He lived in countries not known for MMA. He just learned that he had a super punch and was just winging it from there. I think he was comfortable and trusted his team from France, but they didn't know that much about MMA and didn't know how important it was for him to learn grappling. He lost his confidence. Dana should give him some cans and just tell him to go out there and swing. He probably has his whole family counting on him and he doesn't know what to do or who to trust. He still is very talented.

  9. Francis needs to drop down to the development league. Fight some cans, get his confidence up.

  10. Francis is not a fighter. He's a guy that beats people up. There's a difference. He's too fucking green. This anxiety is something that you overcome as a young fighter. He's experiencing it at the highest level. He'll either quit or come back stronger.

  11. The pay structure is A root cause of some of these issues. Fighters only getting 10k and 10k ,for instance, not only need that money to continue to grow fully, but deserve to know exactly how much they are walking away with. Performance bonuses should be the only bonuses publicly announced.
    Corners would be a little more inclined to think of the future of the fighter if they know they are not going to be fucking things financially, getting the L and the things that go with that.

  12. Luke are you actually suggesting Ngannou should not have gone out for the 4th and 5th round against Stipe? Thats absolutely rubbish. Francis was just tired in that fight. …not like he was really getting beat up like that. He was just tired. No responsible corner would have stopped that fight especially if you have a puncher like Ngannou that could have connected with a punch at anytime and end the fight

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