http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/new...the-next-big-thing-literally-and-figuratively These are lean times for the UFC. Last year there were five shows that did over 1,000,000 pay per view television buys. This year there have been none. PPV lives or dies on stars, and the stars are winking out, one by one. Ronda Rousey is apparently retired. Brock Lesnar was suspended for failing an anti-doping test, and is so out that the remaining six months are tolling. Conor McGregor has never defended either of the UFC belts he won. Jon Jones has had his belt removed for the third time. GSP fights next month, but hasn’t fought since 2013. In sum, the UFC needs a new, young star. UFC president Dana White appeared recently on The TSN MMA Show and asked who on the roster has the “it” factor to be the next star in mixed martial arts. “I like Francis Ngannou,” said White, as transcribed byRussell Ess for BJPenn.com. “I think Francis Ngannou could be the next big thing, literally and figuratively.” Ngannou is a perfect 5-0 so far in the UFC, with his last two fights winning performance bonuses. And he was on a four-fight win streak heading into the UFC. French is his first language, and he doesn’t engage in trash talk, in a era when trash talking in English is at least as prized as a mighty straight right. White, however, is unphased. “Listen, when you’re a badass, language has nothing to do with it man,” said the UFC boss. “It’s all about how you – look at Anderson Silva. It’s about your performances. Listen, we think about the talking because Conor is so good. Conor is a great fighter and every time he opens his mouth it’s hilarious, you know? You find those guys once in a blue moon.” Ngannou fights Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 on December 2, 2017. With a win there, he would get a title shot. With a win there he would be the baddest man on the planet, and perhaps the next big thing.