Perhaps no other rising contender in UFC history had gone into their initial title shot with as much hype as top-ranked heavyweight Francis Ngannou when he met champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of last night’s (Sat., January 20, 2018) UFC 220 from TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
And though it may not have entailed much flash or fanfare, Miocic sent that hype train packing with a dominant, smothering, and workmanlike performance that was indicative of the Ohio-born fireman’s overall spirit and personality.
It wasn’t without some adversity at first, however, as Ngannou’s power was evident when he came roaring out of the gate and caused the champ’s eye to swell. Instead of getting caught in a slugfest with the fight game’s heaviest hitter, Miocic chose to make “The Predator” prove he could survive deep water by using a measured stand-up game with several stinging, technically precise strikes before repeatedly grounding and controlling him with an incredibly intelligent gameplan.
No, it wasn’t Miocic’s most dominant or jaw-dropping win over the course of his current six-fight win streak, but in many ways, it was his most impressive. Few could argue that Ngannou presented the toughest test, at least purely physically, of Miocic’s now-historic reign, and the champion won by having better accuracy, wrestling, patience, conditioning, and strategy against a still-learning behemoth in Ngannou.
It may just have earned him the title of the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.
Watch the highlights of Miocic’s dominant, record-breaking win right here:
What an insane fight!
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 21, 2018