"First of all, I would love to share the Octagon with Daniel Cormier before he retires."
That's Francis Ngannou telling TMZ Sports why it would be an "honor" to fight UFC legend Daniel Cormier ... but insists it should be for the TRUE heavyweight belt and not "this interim sh*t."
Of course, Ngannou just destroyed Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 on Saturday -- his 4th straight 1st-round victory.
Most people think he deserves a title shot -- but the situation with Stipe Miocicis definitely complicating things.
Remember, Stipe -- the reigning heavyweight champ -- was supposed to run it back with Cormier earlier this year (they've already fought twice) but an eye injury and the COVID-19 pandemic ruined those plans.
Cormier insists he's ready to fight now -- but Stipe is still waiting for the green light from his doctor and wants time to have a full training camp.
In the meantime, Cormier said over the weekend he'd be down to fight Ngannou ... and Francis told us, he's READY!
"I mean, that would be an honor for me to have to fight Daniel Cormier since I always think about it," Ngannou said.
Some people are calling for the UFC to strip Stipe of the belt -- and have DC and Nganou fight for the interim heavyweight strap.
Ngannou does NOT like that plan.
"I hope Stipe gets what he wants but I want to fight for the title. Not this interim sh*t."
"I mean, like, they should have given me the interim [for the Jairzinho Rozenstruik fight]."
"I should be working out now with interim but I don't think there's no time for the interim anymore, its time for the real title."