ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith didn’t hold back when assessing the importance of Francis Ngannou’s second round knockout win over Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.

The Cameroonian knockout artist became champion in emphatic fashion this past weekend. Ngannou showed a calmer approach in his eagerly anticipated rematch against Stipe Miocic. The 34-year-old was even able to win some wrestling exchanges before going to work with his hands in round two.

Ultimately, Ngannou knocked Miocic out cold in the second stanza to avenge his first professional loss and become the UFC heavyweight champion.

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In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Monday, host Stephen A. Smith showered Ngannou with praise, he said.

“I caught your knockout on Saturday. I called it the greatest thing that’s ever happened to the UFC. Because when you’re the heavyweight champion of the world and you come into the Octagon with bad intentions like Mike Tyson did in boxing, like George Foreman did before him, that’s the greatest thing for a pugilistic sport.”

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Max Kellerman echoed the thoughts of his co-host.

“I agree with Stephen A,” Kellerman said. “This has a chance to be, what you did now, a turning point in the history of the UFC in the sense that light heavy was always the glamor division. Brock Lesnar looked for a second, like, ‘Can he be that guy at heavyweight?’ But he couldn’t consistently stay at that level. You now have a fight maybe lined up with Jon Jones.

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“Because the UFC champion would beat the heavyweight champion in boxing in an actual fight, that guy’s the baddest man on the planet, especially if he’s a guy that fights like you. So this could be a turning point in the history of your sport. That’s a tremendous achievement.” (Transcribed by MMA News)

Do you agree with Stephen A. Smith about the magnitude of Francis Ngannou’s win at UFC 260?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.