Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight power puncher, Francis Ngannou, learned there is more to being a champion than just hitting hard. And taking him to school on the subject of mixed martial arts (MMA) titles was reigning division kingpin Stipe Miocic, who dominated the Cameroonian en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win in the main event of UFC 220.
How the hell this thing went five rounds is beyond me, but after 25 minutes it went to the champion by a score of 50-44 (x3).
The victory leaves Miocic (18-2) alone in the heavyweight history books, becoming the first king of the 265-pound castle to defend the strap three consecutive times. And that’s part of a six-fight win streak, five of which ended violently. Leading up to this titanic tilt the promotion asked fans, “Who is the baddest man on the planet?” Well, we have our answer.
They say the brightest stars burn out the quickest, and while Ngannou (11-2) still has a long and prosperous career in front of him, his cardiovascular nosedive was tough to watch. That’s what happens when you’re spoiled by a bevy of first-round finishes whereas Miocic has seen a fifth frame twice in his career.
Simply put, championship rounds are for champions.
It will be interesting to see what lessons Ngannou learns from this fight. It’s hard to get a fighter to fix something that isn't broken and when you’re murdering dudes left and right, why mess with the formula? I’m actually kind of surprised Miocic didn’t finish the fight, considering how badly “The Predator” faded after round one.
It’s onward and upward for the champion, who must now try to find a viable contender. Miocic already disposed of everyone in the top five, with the exception of Cain Velasquez, who may or may not be making his return later this year.
If he does, a title fight is not out of the question.
Not because Velasquez has done enough since coughing up his crown to get another shot at the throne, there just isn’t enough available talent to block his path. On the flip side, maybe it’s time to settle the beef between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis, assuming the “Black Beast” can get by Marcin Tybura next month in Texas.
And his treadmill.
Troll game is strong.
One thing the heavyweight division never had was stability, which is why it only took three title defenses to set the mark. It will be interesting to see how long Miocic can keep the party going and who knows, based on what we’ve seen to date, he might be able to follow this guy’s lead and set a record that may take years to break.
After he changes a few diapers.
Let’s hope he avoids the “Dad Bod.”
For much more on the UFC 220 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place last Saturday night (Jan. 20, 2018) inside TD Garden Arena in Boston, Mass., click here.