Francis Ngannou is the new UFC heavyweight champion after knocking out Stipe Miocic tonight and stripping the Amerian off his belt.
Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) won via KO after 52 seconds in the second round, thus avenging his defeat at the UFC 220, when Stipe (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) defended the title dominating over the French-Cameroonian fighter.
After a solid opening round in which Ngannou was slightly better than the champion, we saw fireworks in the second. Ngannou would drop Miocic after a strong left, but the champ immediately recovered, unleashing a counter-punch that stopped and disturbed Ngannou for a while.
— Craig Goody (@CraigGoody1979) March 28, 2021
But an inadequate assessment of the situation saw Stipe attacking Ngannou and eating a ferocious left that put him on the ground once again. Ngannou’s hammer-fist was an exclamation point on his win, with the referee stepping in to stop the bout.
“The game plan was to be relaxed, not to rush at all,” Ngannou said. “Calm down. My team knows that that’s the moment I have the best of myself. When I’m relaxed and not rushing.”
With this match, one of the most dominant eras in the UFC heavyweight history ends, with Miocic losing his belt for the second time in his career and probably heading for retirement following tonight’s match.
On the other side, Ngannou has numerous challenges in front of him. Fighting Jon Jones is one of them, and that is a specific wish of the new champion.
“Him moving up is going to be a challenge I will take. It’ll be a very good challenge. … But this time, I am the champ, he is coming up and looking for me. I am ready any time soon,” he said about Bones.
However, the UFC has different plans for Ngannou. Dana White said that the Predator’s next battle is against Derrick Lewis, to whom he lost previously.
Lewis has been smashing and bashing his opponents lately, with the most recent victory coming against Curtis Blaydes at the UFC Fight Night in February. Back then, he stopped Blaydes, one of the fastest rising stars in the division, with a vicious KO in the second round.
We’ll see how this situation sorts out. The fight against Jones is more lucrative, while on the other side, Lewis is really the No.1 contender in the heavyweight division, and he deserves to challenge Ngnanou.
In the meantime, Jones responded to all the stories about him moving up to challenge the Predator, suggesting that he wants to take that path but only if the financial offer is good enough.
In other fights at the UFC 260, Vicente Luque (20-7-1 MMA, 13-3 UFC) defeated the former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (19-7-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) vis submission in the first round. D’Arce choke did all the job here, handing Luque arguably the biggest win of his career.
On the other side, it is evident that Woodley isn’t capable of competing at a high level. This was his fourth straight defeat, with the previous three being against Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, and Colby Covington.
Sean O’Malley defeated Thomas Almeida via KO in the third round, while Miranda Maverick beat Gillian Robertson after a unanimous decision.
O’Malley’s win was pretty dominant and he proved to be back in the saddle after a first-round KO loss to Marlon Vera at the UFC 252. His won the Performance of the Night bonus.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.