UFC 260 was in Las Vegas. The main event was a rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. The first fight took place in 2018, when Miocic won by unanimous decision of the judges. This time, he defended his heavyweight title again.
This time, the fight didn’t last even 6 minutes. Ngannou confidently took the first round and outboxed Miocic in the second round.
In January, 2018, Stipe Miocic defeated Francis Ngannou with no trouble. He survived the first round and then won by judges’ decision. Ngannou then lost to Derrick Lewis in a fight that was ugly. Miocic fought three times. The first time, he lost by knockout. He won the second fight with a huge effort (TKO). He won the third fight quite confidently (unanimous decision).
Despite the progress of the Cameroonian, the opinion that the rematch would turn out the same way as the first fight was quite widespread. In the first round, however, it became clear that things would be different. Miocic looked stiff, and his attempted takedown failed as Ngannou first covered him and then swiftly slid behind his back and started punching.
The American Croatian got up, but he missed a lot. And to miss at least one punch from Ngannou is probably the same as to miss a dozen punches from just a tough heavyweight. Francis had one more moment, which for some reason he didn’t develop – when he hit with a right overhand, then added a left side, but then went back. At the end of the round the African stopped – obviously to save energy.
Early in the round, Ngannou hit Miocic with a lead jab and follow up left hook to his jaw. After taking some heavy punches return from Miocic, he fell back down but then popped back up– only to eat shots again. A stunned Stipe broke free, made a few steps, stopped Ngannou with a right hook, then went forward and immediately came across a hook from the Cameroonian. Miocic collapsed unconscious, but Ngannou hit him again to be sure. It was unnecessary, but a lot of fighters have reflexes like that – it’s hard to do anything about it, it’s all automatic.
“I can’t find any words to describe how I feel,” Ngannou said after the fight. “But it feels the same way that for years I couldn’t get it out of me – and now I can. I proved myself to everyone, including all the skeptics. Now I am on my way to greatness.
January 20, 2018 is a very important day in my career. That was when I gained the most experience. I don’t think that I lost the fight because that experience led me to this result today. When I dropped him the first time and went at him, he definitely hit me with his right hand, and I heard my cornerbacks, Kamaru Usman yelling at me, “Calm down, don’t fly!” And I stepped back, gathered myself, and he made the mistake of going at me sharply, and I caught him.
I fought a fight, and I did a good job. My coaches Eric and Dewey helped me by watching video of his (the opponent) fights before the fight. My managers also helped me by making sure I am relaxed before the fight. Kamaru, my brother from Africa, was there to help me at the end of the fight emotionally. He is one of three champions from Africa now, and it is my hope that we have a UFC tournament in Africa soon too.”
Ngannou’s next opponent will likely be Jon Jones. Jones has been an UFC champion and one of the best fighters in MMA history. “I think he is the greatest of all time, and that he is moving up to my weight class is a big challenge for me,” Ngannou said. “Absolutely ready for this fight.” It will happen in July or August, he said.