Stipe Miocic: Francis Ngannou Won't Be Champ 'As Long As I'm Here'

Jerome Miron/Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The MMA world can't wait for UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic to face Francis Ngannou at UFC 220 in Boston on Jan. 20 — and for good reason. 

Two of the most ferocious knockout artists in the sport, Miocic and Ngannou swing leather with power and precision, racking up 20 career finishes via KO/TKO combined. 

Currently, Miocic has finished five straight opponents with his fists, while Ngannou has notched back-to-back knockout victories over top heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem. 

While Ngannou is being touted as the "next big thing" in the heavyweight division, and while his knockout power is particularly terrifying, Miocic sees him as just another title defense. 

Speaking with Joe Rogan during a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show (h/t Fancy Combat), Miocic sounded off on the upcoming scrap. 

"I think he’s a great fighter, you know? He brings it. He hits hard," Miocic said. "But, unfortunately, nothing’s going to change. I’m walking out with the belt still wrapped around my waist. I’m excited for him. He’s getting a shot.  But as long as I’m here no one’s going to be the champ."

Miocic's confidence is well founded. He's defeated Mark Hunt, Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Overeem, and Junior dos Santos in succession during his current run, proving that he can eliminate anybody on any night. And while the Ohioan does acknowledge Ngannou's power, he's not particularly fazed by it.

"His power [stands outs] I guess, but I think everyone hits hard in the heavyweight division," Miocic said. "A 260-pound man, 250-pound man — you’re not supposed to be hit by something like that. 

"I fought JDS. I fought Roy Nelson. I fought Mark Hunt. I fought guys who threw hard. He’s [Ngannou is] a little wild, too. That’s tough. Sometimes you can’t prepare for that because there are punches you don’t see." 

Should Miocic get past Ngannou on Jan. 20 at UFC 220, he will break the UFC heavyweight record for consecutive title defenses with three. Currently, he shares the record of two with Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Tim Sylvia, and Randy Couture. 

Listen to the segment on JRE below: 

Ricco Rodriguez, Felony Bennett, More Live At CamSoda Legends

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It's a glorious time to be alive, friends. CamSoda Legends streams some MMA ruckus featuring Ricco Rodriguez, "Felony" Charles Bennett, Alex Nicholson, Matt Wagy, and more live and free from Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Thursday, April 26. 

Kevin Lee On Khabib Nurmagomedov: 'I Got That Boy's Number'

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is undefeated and seemingly untouchable—but Kevin Lee remains unfazed. 

Michael Chandler Talks Upcoming Free Agency, UFC Potential

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

By Damon Martin

Michael Chandler has a very important decision to make in the near future.

Mindset Monday: How Kevin Lee Went From Stanky Leg To Smash Mode

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

By Mindset Mike for FloCombat

Everyone will likely remember two things about the Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee fight at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, NJ, on Saturday night: Lee missing weight and the vicious spinning kick from Barboza that went viral. 

UFC Fight Night 128 Results, Recap: Kevin Lee Dominates In Atlantic City

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

By Josh Sanchez

Antonina Shevchenko Defends Title At Lion Fight 42

Instagram @antonina_muaythai

The Shevchenko sisters ain't nothin' to fu*k with. 

UFC 224: Brian Kelleher Eyes Dominick Cruz After John Lineker

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

By Daniel Vreeland

The UFC’s bantamweight division has been tough to get a read on lately. 

UFC Atlantic City Hype: Kevin Lee Sleeps Magomed Mustafaev

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Don't let Kevin Lee take your back. 

Dustin Poirier: 'I Think I Match Up Well' vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

By Damon Martin

Dustin Poirier has never backed down from a challenge.

That's why, following his UFC on Fox 29 slugfest with Justin Gaethje that ended in a fourth-round knockout this past Saturday, Poirier immediately turned his attention to a title shot against newly crowned lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.

From 23 Foster Homes To UFC Gold: Justin Willis Ready For Anything

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Willis knows he's different. It's a fact he's learned to embrace and to cherish.