He's shown Stipe a LOT more respect than he did Overeem. I know the easy answer is "he's fighting the champ, it's his first title shot, of course he's showing the champ more respect", but I think there has to be much more to it than that. Leading up to the Overeem fight he was a mean motherfucker. He was talking mad shit to Overeem, he looked him in the eye multiple times and told him he was getting knocked out, he was getting put to sleep. At the weigh in, he spread his arms wide like the fucking Predator, like "look how big I am". He completely alpha'd him, Overeem always looked a bit uncomfortable. I think he had Overeem scared coming into the octagon, just like Tyson used to do to his opponents. He hasn't done anything like that with Stipe. He hasn't backed down at all, but he hasn't pulled any of that alpha shit. All he says is "Stipe is a great champ but now it's my time". When they were on ESPN together, he admitted it was "weird" being that close to Stipe - he looked uncomfortable in the situation. Contrast that with Overeem, whenever they were around each other Ngannou would just talk shit to his face. Was it just that he thought he could punk Overeem but doesn't think he can faze Stipe the same way? Is he just super focused on the goal at hand? Does Stipe's energy make him uncomfortable?