Francis Ngannou straight up took the Heavyweight championship in a strong victory over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. The Cameroon native had been on a tear recently with four straight knockouts in just 2:43 of real-time in the Octagon. But, the Cleveland native was resting on an impressive run of title defenses. He had already beat Ngannou in their previous meeting back at UFC 220. In the prior fight, Miocic had to deploy some grappling to keep the challenger from those devastating striking opportunities. That was really going to have to be the strategy tonight as well. Ngannou makes no effort to hide the fact that he's coming to knock you out. It was amazing to watch this punch collide in real-time. Just an absolutely devastating strike that would have taken just about anybody out. There are so many people weighing in on the spectacle and the entire UFC world is absolutely rocked.
FRANCIS NGANNOU IS THE UFC CHAMPION! 🏆March 28, 2021
UFC legend and commentator spoke to MMA Junkie ahead of the bout to discuss what Ngannou would have to do to fell the Clevelander. In his opinion, the early minutes of the fight heavily favor the challenger, but once the feel-out period ends the advantage switches to Miocic. I was in Ngannou's best interest to try and end things swiftly like he's been doing.
"I honestly believe that it plays to Francis early," Cormier said regarding the smaller octagon. "Again, it's all bout it's a tale of two fights, man. It's minutes where the danger is extremely high. The danger is as daunting as anything you can ever think of. It's like being locked in a cage with a tiger. How long can you survive? That's what you do when you fight Francis. How long can Stipe survive to start imposing himself in the fight?"
"Early, the small octagon plays to Francis because when he starts to go down hill it's a terrifying sight. You saw it against Jairzinho (Rozenstruik). It started a bit slow, Francis made up his mind and he was just going to go and when he did the fight was over 5 second later. It's just not much room to run as a smaller guy."
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