Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Jan. 20, 2018) for UFC 220: “Miocic vs Ngannou,” which took place inside TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.
In the main event of the evening, Stipe Miocic held on to his 265-pound strap by dominating (and out-classing) Francis Ngannou for five rounds. Yes, you read that correctly, going into the record books by becoming the only man to ever defend the division strap three straight times. Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Daniel Cormier defeated Volkan Oezdemir via second round technical knockout to hold on to his light heavyweight title after his brutal “No Contest” against Jon Jones at UFC 214 last summer.
Biggest Winner: Stipe Miocic
Simply put, Miocic was absolutely dominant over Francis Ngannou, out-classing “The Predator” in every aspect of the fight game, including the standup department where Francis made his reputation as the most powerful striker in all of MMA. After derailing the train that is Ngannou -- who did land a few shots on the champ -- with a unanimous decision win, Miocic etched himself into the record books by becoming the first and only man to ever defend the heavyweight title three times in a row. Where you at, Demetrious Johnson? And he also announced his wife’s pregnancy. Indeed, it was a great night for Miocic. With this win, maybe Miocic will get the respect he deserves and won’t be out-promoted by the challenger in his next title defense.
Runner Up: Daniel Cormier
While most expected this outcome, the win is huge for “DC” in many ways. First off, it gets him back into the win column after getting knocked out by Jon Jones at UFC 214 last year. That said, the win takes the “stench” off the terrible loss, which was later ruled a “No Contest,” solidifying him as the true champion. “DC” has stated time and again he felt he was fighting for a vacant strap even though he was re-gifted the title. In defeating Oezdemir, Cormier can breathe a sigh of relief going into his next title defense, which will likely be a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson. But, I’m willing to bet it will be a bit before he returns to action, which means “The Mauler” has a bit more time to get at full health. And he’s going to need it.
Biggest Loser: Thomas Almeida
What happened to this once-promising prospect? That is now two straight losses for the Brazilian, who started off his career with 20 straight wins before getting his clock cleaned by Cody Garbrandt to suffer his first defeat back in 2016.
After getting back into the win column against Albert Morales, Almeida has now dropped back-to-back defeats to Jimmie Rivera and now Rob Font. He simply hasn’t looked the same since “No Love” slept him, but he needs to turn it around quick ... or he could find himself on the chopping block with the promotion if he suffers a third straight loss.
To get full UFC 220: “Miocic vs. Ngannou” play-by-play updates and results click here.