Usman, Adesanya, and Ngannou are African UFC champions. The three have developed a bond and have supported one another. While Rockhold is seeing the love from Ngannou, he isn’t so sure about Usman and Adesanya.
As of late, Ngannou has shown frustration with the UFC. He wasn’t happy with the promotion making an interim heavyweight title fight between Ciryl Gane and Derrick Lewis, which was won by Gane. He’s even questioned fighter pay.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on MMAFighting‘s The MMA Hour, Rockhold said Usman and Adesanya haven’t been speaking up for Ngannou.
“If they’re going to do that to Francis and then no one else [speaks up], his two brothers aren’t going to get behind him and sack up and be the men they should’ve been when he got shelved—you’ve got two Nigerian brothers, they’re champions, they should’ve just stood by him and been men, and maybe that could change the landscape,” Rockhold said.
“But that’s about it. I saw an opportunity there. That’s when I saw an opportunity. Other than that, you need 25 [big-name] guys. Twenty-five guys aren’t coming together. Maybe more, I don’t know, maybe less. Maybe give or take. That sh*t ain’t going to happen. “That was the only thing that I saw that actually could’ve leveled the playing field and changed things for the better,” Rockhold continued. “When you f*ck with Francis and you’ve got this three amigos Nigerian brotherhood, if those two would’ve stood up, they could’ve f*cked. They could’ve f*cked deep and hard. But the two didn’t step up.”
Ngannou appears to be due for a title unification bout against Gane at some point in 2022. It’ll be interesting to see if cooler heads prevail during negotiations for the matchup.
OrderPPV.com – The easy way to purchase Pay-Per-View events.