• February 4, 2023

UFC 260: Francis Ngannou knocks out Stipe Miocic to capture heavyweight title

After his win, Ngannou said he was ready to face former two-time light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who is expected to move up to heavyweight division

Cameroonian Francis Ngannou showed his devastating clout by defeating Stipe Miocic in the second round to claim the undisputed UFC heavyweight title in Las Vegas at UFC 260.

The bout was a rematch of their 2018 meeting at UFC 220, where American Miocic Ngannou dominated for five rounds to claim a unanimous landslide victory in Boston.

On Saturday, 34-year-old Ngannou showed the improvements made since their first meeting as he showed composure and patience before defeating 38-year-old Miocic with a short left hook in the second round for 52 seconds to get the man defeat who is widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight champion in UFC history.

The win also marked the conclusion of a lifelong search for Ngannou, who left Cameroon as a refugee and lived on the streets of Paris before finally finding a gym in hopes of becoming a boxing champion.

He was convinced by former coach Fernand Lopez to focus on mixed martial arts and eventually earned his chance in the UFC, where his thundering clout made him a dangerous competitor.

After six straight wins, his first title shot against Miocic was left out in 2018 as his relative lack of MMA experience counted against him. But in the rematch, Ngannou came of age when he flattened Miocic to become only the third African-born champion in UFC history. He joined welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who was in Ngannou’s corner that fight night, and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

After his win, Ngannou said he was ready to face the man who is considered by many to be the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter, Jon Jones, who is expected to move up in the heavyweight division to later to fight for the title this year.

“In my opinion, Jon Jones is the greatest of all time in mixed martial arts. He’ll be a good thing if he moves up,” he said.

“He’s a challenge I’ll take on and it will be a very good thing on the resume. But this time he’s the challenger. I’m the champion. He comes looking for me.

“So I’ll be ready soon. Even in summer I’ll be here and be ready to fight in July or August. Whenever they’re ready, I’m ready. He said something, ‘Show me the money’. Show the money and we’re going, baby. I’m here. “

After Miocic’s defeat in the first fight, Ngannou split from longtime trainer Lopez and focused his training exclusively on the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas under Eric Nicksick.

After a dreary decisive loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226, Ngannou regained his form and took four wins in a row with wins against former heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos and top rivals Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a combined time of Just two minutes and 42 seconds to position for a championship rematch with Miocic.

Luque finishes the former champion

Vicente Luque (top center) and Tyron WoodleyThe win for Luque brought his record of 20 wins, seven losses and one draw

In the co-main event of the night, Brazilian contender Vicente Luque took the biggest win of his career when he weathered an early storm before finishing first round former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Woodley stormed across the cage to put pressure on Luque in the first few seconds and later combined with big punches trying to overwhelm him in the early exchanges. But the 29-year-old from Brasilia struggled and rocked Woodley with punches before finally forcing the assist with a D’Arce choke to claim the 20th victory of his career.

O’Malley jumps back

Sean O'Malley (left) and Thomas Almeida (right)O’Malley won again by defeating Almeida and had 13 wins with just one loss

Bantamweight star rising earlier in the night Sean O’Malley He returned to the Victory Column with a striking round of 16 against the Brazilian Thomas Almeida.

O’Malley, 26, suffered a shock loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 252 last year when he lost his unbeaten record. But the American bounced back in style as he took Almeida apart in two rounds before finishing his man in the middle of round three to improve his record to 13 wins and one loss.

There was also a notable welterweight win Abubakar Nurmagomedov. The cousin of recently retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put in a dominant performance to win all three rounds on all three scorecards and defeat American Jared Gooden for the 16th MMA win of his career and his first in the To pick up UFC.

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