Shaquille O’Neal spoke about various UFC-related topics in a recent interview. He delved into his friendship with Dana White, upcoming fights, and much more. Most importantly, he discussed meeting Francis Ngannou.
Although the former NBA star is a fan of UFC, he claims he did not know much about Ngannou. Unsurprisingly, Shaq’s first interaction with Ngannou was during his training session.
“When I saw him train, I could tell he wanted to be Champion,” says Shaquille. He reveals that he could see the determination in Ngannou’s eyes from the get-go. Moreover, Shaq claims that ‘ The Predator ‘ also came and picked him up with great ease.
O’ Neal reiterates how Francis would work very hard in the gym. “I was like, I gotta watch him”, he said, regarding Ngannou’s fight. This is of course the same fight that won Francis the heavyweight belt.
Francis beat the previous heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 last month. He beat Stipe in round two via knockout. Subsequently, he relinquished the title and became the current champion.
What’s Next for Francis Ngannou?
Following his victory, Ngannou has garnered a lot of attention. People are recently becoming aware of him and his past struggles. Although he is big and strong, Francis Ngannou’s kindness and humility have also gained him many fans.
However, him becoming champion means that others will want to contend for it. As a result, Jon Jones and Derrick Lewis have been named top candidates to fight him next. Derrick Lewis is also the only remaining fighter to have beaten him before.
Francis has also garnered attention for being the hardest recorded puncher in the UFC to date. However, Francis has shown time and again, the willingness to work hard. Hence, fans like Shaquille O’Neal are expecting him to keep doing the same.
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