With a chance to cement his place in history as the greatest heavyweight of all time, Stipe Miocic returned to the octagon at UFC 260. For the first time since 2018, Stipe Miocic faced someone inside the octagon not named Daniel Cormier. Once again, however, Miocic’s title defense was a rematch — against Francis Ngannou, the last opponent Miocic had faced prior to his trilogy with D.C.
Ngannou had fought his way back to this point the hard way, knocking out former champions and top contenders left and right. After four straight wins, all within a round, he had his second chance at the belt — and an opportunity to show how far he had come as a fighter.
Francis Ngannou actually opened the title fight rematch with a leg kick. He then went to the body, with Stipe staying light on his feet. Then came an overhand right that Miocic simply… ate. Ngannou, perhaps seeing that Miocic had taken the blow, backed off. Miocic then shot for a takedown. Ngannou stuffed it, and managed to control from the back, pounding away on Miocic. The champ was in trouble, but escaped. Miocic, spending most of his time weathering a very ferocious storm, had barely any offense to show in the first five minutes.
The first round had been very promising for Ngannou. The right hand, the takedown defense — plenty of positives for “The Predator.” The fight, through five minutes, was a more measured affair than the pair’s first meeting, while being no less exciting.
Miocic needed to get busy in the second. But it was Ngannou dropping the champ. Miocic made it back up, but not for long. The power of Ngannou was on full display, as he leveled Miocic once more. The champ, who would not be one much longer, was flat on his back. A lead left had knocked him down the first time, with Ngannou landing some heavy follow-ups. It was another left that dropped Miocic the second time — and captured the UFC heavyweight championship for Francis Ngannou. A much improved Ngannou, who showed good takedown defense and plenty of patience.
— UFC (@ufc) March 28, 2021
A patient, measured Francis Ngannou is a scary creature indeed. While a rubber match with Miocic would be big, Jon Jones is also ready to make his debut at heavyweight. A fight with Ngannou might be the biggest heavyweight bout in years.
Official Result: Francis Ngannou def. Stipe Miocic by knockout, Round 2, 0:52