In a scheduled 25 minute main event in Beijing, China, it only took Francis Ngannou 45 seconds to take out Curtis Blaydes for a second time.
In a pivotal rematch, it was Francis Ngannou who came out on top after a turbulent 2018 for the Frenchman.
Having come under heavy scrutiny after being showed up by then champion Stipe Miocic, Ngannou was hesitant to engage in any sort of action against Derrick Lewis in his rebound fight.
Pressure was on him to perform and the heavy hitting Ngannou that we all know was back in force in the evening’s main event.
Momentum was seriously favouring Blaydes having blasted through some of the biggest names in the UFC’s heavyweight division but the phrase, “anything can happen in MMA” rang through when Ngannou was able to send his opponent to the canvas with a crisp right hand.
Blaydes’ legs went from beneath him when “The Predator” – despite not fully connecting – was able to touch his competitor thus sending him to the mat and followed up with a barrage of punches.
Blaydes protested the stoppage to referee Marc Goddard but in truth, the fight was only going one way and Goddard correctly halted the contest to save Blaydes from further punishment.
An exuberant Ngannou said after the fight, “I’m back baby”.
Furthermore, the Frenchman was not shy in mapping out a potential opponent for his next fight.
“I want the rematch with Stipe (Miocic). I didn’t do well in that fight and I want to correct that”
The win snaps a two fight losing streak for Ngannou who is hoping that 2019 will look brighter than this year was.