Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Ngannou Reacts to Jones Win, Brunson Hints at Retirement

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Francis Ngannou, UFC 270
Francis Ngannou, UFC 270 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

UFC 285 was all that seemed to matter in mixed martial arts over the past week, and for good reason. The return of Jon Jones was worth tuning in for, and he made short work of French heavyweight Ciryl Gane, submitting “Bon Gamin” in mere minutes to claim the UFC heavyweight championship. Following the event, Francis Ngannou chimed in, and Derek Brunson hinted at retirement. That and more in this week’s Sunday MMA Quick Hits!

De Fries vs. Overeem at Colosseum 2?

Phil De Fries got his revenge against Todd Duffee at KSW 79 a week ago, making the eighth consecutive defense of his KSW heavyweight title in the process.

That’s an unheard of number for any major promotion, especially given the level of competition De Fries has faced: three former UFC fighters, several KSW champions, and a number of up-and-comers. At 36, De Fries has now won 11 straight fights, and looks like a completely new athlete in comparison to his UFC run.

So what comes next? De Fries let slip on The MMA Hour this past week that while a UFC return probably isn’t worth it — he’d be taking a pay cut to work his way up the ranks — KSW has been in talks with Alistair Overeem about a fight at Colosseum 2 this summer.

That would be a very cool fight to headline the stadium show. KSW 39, the promotion’s first Colosseum event, took place in the same venue, PGE Narowody, and saw 57,766 fans in attendance — making it the second largest MMA event in history.

Derek Brunson Hints at Retirement Following UFC 285

After his corner threw in the towel at the end of the second round of his war with Dricus Du Plessis, Derek Brunson appears to be signalling retirement.

Thanks for all who watched my career. Crazy fight tonight. My corner decided to stop it in the after the second rounds,” Brunson wrote on social media. “Congrats to my opponent.”

Brunson lost his second straight bout in the fight, after coming up short against Jared Cannonier last year. At 39, he’s a 10-year veteran of the UFC, and has spent a good deal of that run ranked in the promotion’s middleweight division — but has faltered in steps up in competition.

Good Job, Jonny Boy

Francis Ngannou made his thoughts on the UFC 285 main event clear in the immediate aftermath.

“Good job Jonny Boy,” the former heavyweight champ wrote on social media after the fight. “Sincerely, the heavyweight king.”

Ngannou exited the UFC earlier this year, vacating the heavyweight title in the process. “The Predator” and the UFC were unable to come to terms on a new deal, with Ngannou previously stating the sticking point wasn’t money, but the UFC’s unwillingness to acquiesce to any of his greater concerns, including health care for fighters, and a fighter advocate being present at UFC board meetings.

ONE Championship’s Friday Fights 7 sees slam KO

They’re rarely seen but always cool to witness.

ONE Championship has been running a Friday Fights series from the Lumpinee Stadium in Thailand for seven straight weeks, cards comprised mostly of Muay Thai, but with some mixed martial arts thrown in. ONE Friday Fights 7 got a slam KO, which is always worth a watch. It was heavyweight Lawrence “I’m Him” Phillips coming away with the win, improving to 2-0 as a pro after going 5-0 as an amateur.

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