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Francis Ngannou knocks out Stipe Miocic to win UFC heavyweight title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 27: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon reacts after his victory over Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Cameroon’s Francis Ngannou showcased his devastating punch power as he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round to capture the undisputed UFC heavyweight title in Las Vegas at UFC 260.

Ngannou (11-2) avenged his blowout loss to Miocic in 2018 by demonstrating everything he has learned in the ensuing three years. The first UFC heavyweight champion from Africa flattened Miocic (21-3) twice early in the second, finally buckling the champ’s knees and ending the bout 52 seconds into the round.

The win also marked the completion of a lifelong quest for Ngannou, who left Cameroon as a refugee and lived on the streets of Paris before eventually finding a gym with hopes of becoming a champion boxer.

“Man, it’s amazing,” Ngannou said. “The feeling of it is just great. Imagine something you’ve been waiting for your entire life, and struggling to have it. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning and I had to struggle back, but now we’re here.”

After his victory, Ngannou said he was willing to face the man considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Jon Jones, who is expected to move up to heavyweight to challenge for the title later this year.

“For my opinion, Jon Jones is the greatest of all time in mixed martial arts. Him moving up is going to be a good thing,” he said.

“He’s a challenge I will take and it will be a very good thing on the resume. But this time he is the challenger. I am the champ. He’s coming up, looking for me.

“So I’m ready any time soon. Even summer, I will be here, ready to fight in July or August. Whenever they are ready, I’m ready. He said something, ‘Show me the money’. Show the money and we’ll go, baby. I’m here.”

After a drab decision loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226, Ngannou regained his form and reeled off four straight knockout victories with wins over former heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, plus top contenders Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, in a combined time of just two minutes and 42 seconds to position himself for a championship rematch with Miocic.

 

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