Key Takeaways from UFC 260 Main Event: Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou laid the ghosts of his loss against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 to rest, as he came up trumps in the rematch at UFC 260. ‘The Cameroonian’ knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round with a very short but hard left hook, as Miocic folded like a chair.
Despite Francis Ngannou’s trainer Eric Nicksick claiming that watching the tape of Ngannou vs Miocic at UFC 220 gave him nightmares, Francis seemed to have rectified all the areas where he seemed to be lacking, three years ago. Here are a few key takeaways from the recently concluded fight.
Francis Ngannou isn’t just a hard-hitter!
Francis Ngannou has often been overlooked – for only being a wild slogger, possessing some incredible genetics and scary power never seen before. Besides that, Francis in fact didn’t have a holistic approach to his game. His ground game, grappling abilities, takedown-defence were all pretty average.
But, yesterday, he showed how much all those attributes have improved. Especially that takedown-defence during the first round, when Miocic tried to grab a foothold in the match, while he was being out-struck until then; was a thing of beauty. Daniel Cormier on-air was quick to point out the way Ngannou evaded the takedown attempt from Miocic and used it in his favour, grounding Miocic and landing a few shots to his face. And another point to be noted is his ground game, although for a short time, seemed much better (The Usman effect probably!).
The Predator found a way around getting gassed-out quickly!
Ngannou gassed out much sooner than Miocic at UFC 220, primarily due to his huge muscular and heavier frame. This time he came in at around the same weight, but this time he looked like he had shed a bit of fat, as it seemed pretty evident in his shredded physique. This would have clearly helped the Batie native biologically.
Another factor was – during the fight, Francis Ngannou’s superior reach helped him keep Stipe in check, who tried his best to keep up with Ngannou. It was during this time when Daniel Cormier pointed out to the fact that Francis kept using all these gaps to re-energize himself. To put it in words – A jab to check Stipe and then re-energize for a while.
Miocic landed more shots than Francis Ngannou’s previous 4 opponents!
Stipe Miocic might have lost the fight and the belt eventually. But he sure didn’t go out without a fight. ‘The Cleveland’s Finest’ managed to land more punches than all of Francis Ngannou’s previous 4 opponents (viz. Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik) combined. The fact might be trivial since Ngannou knocked out all those opponents in the first round. However, Stipe was knocked out early as well (early second round). Props to Miocic for that!