UFC 260: Ngannou Dethrones Miocic, Eyes Jon Jones
Saturday night's UFC pay-per-view had massive knockouts, a call out from an all-time great, and more.
Cameroon's Francis Ngannou delivered the best performance of his career as he challenged the undisputed GOAT of the heavyweight division, Stipe Miocic, who holds numerous UFC records for his wins. Many experts thought Miocic would be able to get Ngannou to the ground and neutralize his other-worldly striking power, but Ngannou defended Miocic's only takedown attempt beautifully and dealt damage to Miocic in the process. Ngannou also showed increased diversity in his striking, landing a strong head kick in the first round. The knockout came in the second round when "The Predator" connected on a stiff left hook that sent the defending champion to the canvas.
It was one of the most impressive knockouts in the history of UFC heavyweight title fights, and the calmness that Ngannou showed throughout the match is terrifying for the rest of the division. However, a new face among the heavyweights was undeterred, as Jon "Bones" Jones took to Twitter.
Jones posted this Tweet, suggesting that he is interested in a mega-fight with Ngannou as the new champion's first title defense. The former light heavyweight champion and arguably the most skilled mixed martial artist of all time, Jones, announced a move to heavyweight several months ago and has been eyeing the Summer of 2021 as an ideal time to return to the octagon. Unfortunately, Jones sent out a series of tweets later in the evening that indicated he would be expecting a major paycheck for the bout and that there was friction with UFC President Dana White. The idea of Ngannou-Jones is thrilling, but fans should be cautiously optimistic because finances and politics could get in the way.
The rest of the main card did not disappoint. Miranda Maverick notched an impressive win via unanimous decision over Gillian Robertson to assert herself as a contender in the flyweight division. Then "The Sugar Show" was in full swing as Sean O'Malley put on a striking clinic against Thomas Almeida. O'Malley's unorthodox movement kept Almeida guessing the whole time, and a few crowd-pleasing fakes in which O'Malley actually looked away from Almeida helped him land strikes at will. The diverse attack included knee kicks, calf kicks, spinning kicks, punches from all angles, and ultimately put Almeida on the ground twice. The first was a round kick to the head and follow-up that was nearly a walk-off KO, but the referee did not stop the match as O'Malley walked away and allowed Almeida to recover. The second was a counter left hand that dropped Almeida for good as O'Malley dropped a final punch on the ground for insurance.
The Co-Main Event saw former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley attempt to end a three-fight losing streak by taking on rising contender Vicente Luque. Woodley looked sharp early and was landing some massive shots, but started loading up his punches more when he smelt the blood in the water. This gave Luque enough time to counter and rock Woodley with a few shots that sent him stumbling into the cage to get support. The fighters exchanged a few more chaotic blows that ultimately resulted in Woodley going down and Luque finishing the job with a choke that forced Woodley to tap just before falling unconscious. After a fourth-straight loss and a severe fall from grace since losing the belt, Woodley's future in the UFC seems to be uncertain. As for Luque, he opted not to call out one of the top contenders in the division, but seems to be chasing a money fight by calling out fan-favorite Nate Diaz.
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