It was billed as one of the most anticipated heavyweight championship fights of all time and Stipe Miocic’s historic victory over Francis Ngannou is not the way most people would have seen the fight playing out.
Stipe Miocic (18-2) made history in TD Garden, Boston at UFC 220 on Saturday night as he becomes the first UFC heavyweight champion to defend the belt three consecutive times beating Francis Ngannou (11-2) by decision.
The bout began the way most people envisaged it would. Ngannou came out all guns blazing looking for that stiffening uppercut that has served him well in the past. Both men exchanged in the pocket but it was Miocic who used his elusive footwork and caught Ngannou with counter punches time and time again.
Ngannou left himself open and allowed the champion to land takedown after takedown and using all of his weight to lay atop the grounded Ngannou, he quickly depleted his gas tank and from there on, Miocic was able to impose his will on the much hyped contender.
Miocic landed punches, knees in the clinch, on the ground and on the feet for an entire 25 minutes. It’s clear that Ngannou’s power punching is serving him well in the Octagon but a ground game is something that is severely lacking.
It’s certainly a learning curve for Ngannou but Miocic whose odds were as big as 9/4 during the week, will certainly be regarded as one of the all time great heavyweights the UFC have ever had. He executed the perfect game plan against a very dangerous opponent.
All three judges scored the fight 50-44 after a very dominant 4th round in which Miocic scored 10-8 scores across the board.