There’s a new king in the UFC heavyweight division, and he’s a monster named Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou became the champion – and avenged his 2018 decision loss to Stipe Miocic – with a devastating second-round knockout of Miocic on Saturday night in the UFC 260 main event at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The rematch featured a much more balanced version of “The Predator”. He picked his spots, kicked some leg kicks and showed better defense against the withdrawal against the man widely recognized as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Miocic saw a completely different fighter this time around and wore confusion on his face as he struggled to find a way inside in the first round.
After absorbing a few kicks in the legs, Miocic attempted to hide under Ngannou and get a takedown. But in a new development, Ngannou spread out, took Miocic’s back and started a barrage of strikes. To Miocic’s credit, he survived the assault and made it through the next round.
Unlike the first fight, Ngannou’s conservative approach on Saturday allowed him to enter the second round with more energy, which kept him up to the pressure. Miocic followed Ngannou and found himself on the wrong side with a sharp blow that knocked him down against the fence. Miocic bounced back and landed a huge punch that he mistakenly assumed Ngannou was in trouble. Instead, Ngannou held on, pulled a left hand that grabbed the Miocic color and knocked him down 52 seconds into the lap.
The victory is the fifth in a row for Ngannou, who does not yet need a scoreboard for any of his wins. But there’s already a new challenger on the horizon: Jon Jones, arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, steps up to heavyweight, and he posed his challenge shortly after the knockout.
Jones tweeted, then deleted, “Let’s play.” After that he tweeted a condition to make the fight.
The new champion was told about the tweet, then made it clear that he was the man and was ready for anyone in front of him, especially Jones.
“It’s a challenge I’m going to take on and a very good fight on my CV,” said Ngannou. “He’s the challenger, I’m the champion, so he’s looking for me. I’m ready to fight in July and August. Let’s do it.”
Here’s how it all turned out at UFC 260.
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2 Live Updates, UFC 260 Highlights
(All Eastern hours)
Round 2 (00:20): Miocic can’t find a way to get in. Ngannou lands a left hand. Miocic gets closer and Ngannou crushes him with his left hand for a few follow-up strikes. Ngannou squeezes him with his left hand. Miocic is completely furnished. It’s finish. New champion!
Round 1 (00:14): Kick by Ngannou to start. A photo of the body follows. Ngannou’s right hand landed and Miocic barely flinched. What? Miocic leaves for a withdrawal and Ngannou shoves him. Take Miocic’s back and blitz him with strikes. Miocic survives the assault. Headbutt from Ngannou? What is happening here? Miocic looks confused and can’t find an entry point. Miocic lands a kick in the leg. Ngannou returns the fire with a kick from his own leg. 10-9, Ngannou
11:57 p.m .: The main event is over: Stipe Miocic will defend his title against Francis Ngannou. Has the challenger figured out how to stop the teardown and conserve his energy, or will Miocic dominate him again?
11:45 p.m .: It could be the end of Tyron Woodley’s UFC career after being subdued by Vicente Luque in the first round. The former champion opened the fight by throwing caution to the wind and letting go of his hands. Woodley shook Luque with a right hand but Luque erased his balance with a right hand behind his ear. After pouring over the punishment, Luque sank into an D’arce choke and got submission.
23:33: Tyron Woodley is likely to win or come home as the former welterweight champion looks to end a three-game losing streak against Vincente Luque. Woodley lost successively to Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington after holding the 2016-19 welterweight title. Can he regain his form, or will Luque prove he’s worthy of the title conversation?
11:28 p.m .: Sean O’Malley put on a fantastic performance to win a third round knockout from Thomas Almeida. O’Malley made the mistake of thinking he had a knockout in the first with a header. Almeida recovered and stayed in the fight, providing a competitive second round. But O’Malley’s speed and creative technique were just too much. A short left hand dropped Almeida in the third and O’Malley nearly earned the start again, but this time returned to the crime scene to finish the job with a vicious right hand.
11 o’clock in the evening: Next, one of the hottest prospects in the bantamweight division will face a fighter who was once recognized as the fastest rising star in the division when Sean O’Malley takes on Thomas Almeida in a fight that few ‘wait to go.
22:56: Miranda Maverick will likely end up in the flyweight standings after a dominant unanimous decision victory over Gillian Robertson. Maverick was just too powerful. She used a great strike and overcame adversity in the second round to claim the best victory of her career. The sky is the limit for her.
22h26: Gillian Robertson versus Miranda Maverick in a women’s flyweight bout is next. This fight was brought back to the main card after Alexander Volkanovski was diagnosed with COVID-19 and removed from his featherweight title fight against Brian Ortega.
22:22: Well, that’s how you start it. Jamie Mullarkey erased Khama Worthy in just 46 seconds with a perfectly placed left hook. It was beautiful. It was brutal. This is exactly what we needed after a sleepy prelim.
22h00: Welcome to Sporting News’ live coverage of UFC 260. The main map is about to begin. What did you miss in the foreplay? Not a lot. Aside from Alonzo Menifield who marked Von Flue’s fourth stranglehold in UFC history when he won against Fabio Cherant, there wasn’t much to see. Hopefully things change with the main card.
Miocic vs Ngannou 2 start time
- First preliminaries: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Preliminaries: 8 p.m. ET
- PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET
Broadcast coverage of UFC 260 will begin with the UFC Fight Pass prelims at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by preliminaries at 8:00 p.m. ET. The pay-per-view event is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET. Miocic and Ngannou are expected to strike the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, although the exact time will depend on the length of previous fights.
How to watch Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2 on PPV
The entire UFC 260 card, including the main PPV card, is available in the US on the ESPN + subscription streaming service.
However, previous fights can also be seen live on ESPN and the Watch ESPN app and, for early versions, on UFC Fight Pass.
In Canada, the pay-per-view primary card is available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, Eastlink and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass. The preliminaries are on TSN and RDS.
UFC 260 fight card
Main card (ESPN + PPV)
- Francis Ngannou beats. Stipe Miocic (c) via 2nd round knockout (: 52), for Miocic’s UFC heavyweight championship
- Vicente Luque beats. Tyron Woodley via the 1st round submission (3:56).
- Sean O’Malley beats. Thomas Almeida via KO in the 3rd round (3:52).
- Miranda Maverick defeats. Gillian Robertson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
- Jamie Mullarkey beats. Khama Worth via 1st round knockout (: 46).
Preliminary card (ESPN / ESPN +)
- Alonzo Menifield defeats. Fabio Cherant via submission in the 1st round (1:11).
- Abubakar Nurmagomedov beats. Jared Gooden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
- Michał Oleksiejczuk beats. Modestas Bukauskas by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
- Omar Morales beats. Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
First preliminaries (ESPN + / UFC Fight Pass)
- Marc-André Barriault beats. Abu Azaitar via TKO in round 3 (4:56).