UFC 260: Francis Ngannou stops Stipe Miocic, claims UFC heavyweight title

UFC 260: Francis Ngannou stops Stipe Miocic, claims UFC heavyweight title

Ngannou stopped Stipe Miocic with ferocious punches early within the second spherical to say the heavyweight title at UFC 260.

UFC 260: Francis Ngannou stops Stipe Miocic, claims UFC heavyweight title

Francis Ngannou beat Stipe Miocic of their UFC heavyweight championship struggle throughout UFC 260. Picture: UFC

Las Vegas: Francis Ngannou has been the subsequent large factor within the UFC heavyweight division for a number of years. Nearly everybody believed greatness was throughout the highly effective Cameroonian challenger’s attain if he may ever put his prodigious skills collectively.

All that potential was realised in six sensational minutes Saturday evening when Ngannou took the belt away from essentially the most completed fighter within the division’s historical past.

Ngannou stopped Stipe Miocic with ferocious punches early within the second spherical to say the heavyweight title at UFC 260.

Ngannou (11-2) avenged his blowout loss to Miocic in 2018 by demonstrating all the things he has realized within the ensuing three years. The primary UFC heavyweight champion from Africa flattened Miocic (21-3) twice early within the second, lastly buckling the champ’s knees and ending the bout 52 seconds into the spherical.

“Man, it is wonderful,” Ngannou mentioned. “The sensation of it’s simply nice. Think about one thing you’ve got been ready in your whole life, and struggling to have it. Typically I felt like I used to be drowning and I needed to wrestle again, however now we’re right here.”

Ngannou gained a reasonably quiet first spherical with superior putting and floor work, however there was nothing quiet concerning the end.

Ngannou knocked down Miocic 22 seconds into the second spherical with a crisp left hand to Miocic’s face, however the champion ate a number of punches to rise up. Miocic backpedaled away and even landed a proper hand that stung Ngannou, however the challenger loaded up a picture-perfect left hook that bent Miocic’s legs at a ugly angle and put him on the canvas once more, the place Ngannou landed one ending hammer fist.

“When the journey is longer, the reward is all the time extra appreciated,” Ngannou mentioned. “I am positive I’d have been completely satisfied three years in the past, however I believe now, I’ve a distinct perspective about it, being completely satisfied about my enchancment.”

The violence was precisely what Ngannou’s followers and coaches anticipated when the long-anticipated altering of the guard atop the heavyweight division lastly occurred on this rematch of two extremely likable fighters.

Ngannou tried to name his mom in Cameroon instantly after the struggle, however mentioned he could not get by way of to her as a result of everybody was “going loopy” celebrating his win.

“I am unable to speak to anyone in Cameroon proper now,” he mentioned. “It is a good craziness, for a very good cause.”

The 34-year-old Ngannou is a former aspiring boxer who found blended martial arts after he left Cameroon for France in his mid-20s. He rose quickly by way of his new sport along with his fearsome energy and rising all-around ability, however Miocic interrupted his ascent by profitable each spherical of their first bout in Boston.

The loss staggered the arrogance of a once-dynamic fighter. He barely threw a punch in his subsequent bout, an embarrassing loss to Derrick Lewis.

However Ngannou impressively regained his confidence later in 2018 and kicked off a run of 4 consecutive knockout victories towards veteran heavyweights, placing him again in line for Miocic.

“He was a totally totally different fighter tonight,” UFC President Dana White mentioned of Ngannou. “We noticed issues from him we by no means noticed earlier than. He took his time, and even ate that large proper hand from Stipe. He regarded excellent tonight.”

Within the Vegas cage, Ngannou was far an excessive amount of for Miocic, the firefighter from Cleveland who has been on prime of the division for 4 of the final 5 years. Miocic’s heavyweight reign has been the perfect within the historical past of a notoriously tumultuous UFC division, and he most just lately gained the ultimate two fights of his trilogy with Daniel Cormier to cement his heavyweight supremacy.

Within the co-main occasion of this pay-per-view present on the UFC Apex gymnasium on the promotion’s company campus, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley misplaced his fourth consecutive struggle when Vicente Luque submitted him with a D’Arce choke late within the first spherical.

Woodley (19-7-1), who reigned over the 170-pound division for almost three years till Kamaru Usman took his belt in March 2019, regarded sharp early and landed some sturdy photographs earlier than he was staggered and completed by Luque (20-7-1), who has gained 13 of his final 15 fights.

Earlier, bantamweight Sugar Sean O’Malley overcame an infinite early psychological mistake for a vicious third-round end of Thomas Almeida.

O’Malley, the thrilling fighter with rainbow-dyed hair, floored Almeida within the first spherical with a head kick and an enormous punch — however as a substitute of ending his opponent on the bottom, O’Malley anticipated a stoppage and walked away earlier than realizing the struggle hadn’t been stopped.

When he floored Almeida once more within the third, O’Malley briefly tried to stroll away once more earlier than pouncing and throwing a closing punch that bounced Almeida’s head off the canvas.

The UFC is headed to Jacksonville for its subsequent pay-per-view present subsequent month as a result of Florida officers will permit White to promote each seat in an area, however the promotion nonetheless welcomed a couple of dozen followers to the Apex.

The gang included Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Megan Fox, Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker and former UFC homeowners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta.

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