Ngannou produced one of the most terrifying displays of punch power we’ve seen so far in 2020 with his demolition of former kickboxing ace and previously unbeaten MMA contender Rozenstruik trending worldwide following his heavy-handed knockout in Jacksonville.
It means Ngannou, who fell short as a raw contender back at UFC 220 two years ago, is now firmly back in heavyweight title contention, and former UFC middleweight title challenger and ESPN pundit Sonnen said the Cameroonian’s punch power is so intimidating, his perceived lack of refinement really doesn’t matter any more.
“He’s so wild. He’s flat scary,” he told UK TV sports channel Sky Sports.
“I don’t know if I use that word ever. I’m not a prude to this. I understand this is a contact sport. He’s scary!
“The rules are different when they come to Ngannou. I’m not sure he did one thing right in that fight, by the way. His footwork wasn’t great, his punches weren’t straight, his combinations were weird. (But) he has POWER. He has this great equalizer.”
Sonnen, who has competed at the top level from middleweight to heavyweight during his career with the UFC and Bellator, said the UFC’s matchmakers now have an additional duty of care when booking Ngannou’s future fights, simply because the men who get into the cage with “The Predator” invariably get knocked unconscious in swift, brutal fashion.
“He’s putting guys in the hospital who are top guys,” exclaimed Sonnen.
“Guys that can defend themselves. Rozenstruik was undefeated, and he can’t make it 20 seconds with Ngannou? This guy is scary!
“If you’re talking about a future booking you have to make this guy a top contender. There’s only two guys in the whole company that can protect themselves, and that’s Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic. Somebody else is going to get hurt.
“If you’re the matchmaker, you have a real responsibility with this guy like we’ve never seen before. If you don’t put him in there with the right guy, you are sending somebody to doom!”
Ngannou wants a shot at the UFC heavyweight title but, with Miocic and Cormier expected to face off to settle their world title trilogy later this year, the hulking Cameroonian may have to sit tight and wait for his shot.