If you blinked during UFC 218’s co-main event in Detroit on Saturday, you missed it.
At UFC 218 on Saturday night, the heavyweight division’s future met its storied past. Francis Ngannou, one of the few bright spots among the big men, met Alistair Overeem on the night. ‘The Reem’ was a former Dream and Strikeforce champion, not to mention having captured gold in K-1. One of the deadliest strikers in heavyweight history, he’d have the speed, power, and yes, fighting smarts of Ngannou to contend with.
Overeem had dropped a title challenge to champ Stipe Miocic last year, but was back on track, having won two straight. Ngannou, meanwhile, came in on a formidable five fight win streak in the UFC. Stopping Andrei Arlovski in his last outing, he’d take a step up against another veteran in Overeem.
It didn’t take long for Francis Ngannou to get the job done. And in doing so, he made a huge statement. Overeem came out and immediately charged forward, looking to land a left hook. He’d miss, and the pair would clinch against the fence. Ngannou would drop a foot stomp, and control his opponent. With not much going on, however, ref Big Dan came in and broke the pair up.
Restarting the action in the middle, they engaged again, and in the blink of an eye it was over. Overeem fanned on a punch, while Ngannou launched a left uppercut (almost a hook) that landed clean. It sent Alistair Overeem sailing back, crashing to the canvas. Ngannou added a followup strike on the ground, but ‘The Reem’ was out cold. Ngannou had made a statement: he was the clear number one contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Ovreem by knockout, Round 1, 1:42