UFC heavyweight record-holder proves he is best of the best
The Santa Clara
January 25, 2018
Stipe Miocic just broke the UFC’s all time record for heavyweight championship defenses. Miocic defended his belt for the third time against the over-hyped Francis Ngannou at UFC 220 at TD Garden on Saturday night.
Miocic won by unanimous decision on all three judges score cards with 55- 44. He absorbed all of Ngannou’s shots without being brought down and leaned heavy on his wrestling skills. Miocic said that he believes that he now deserves to be called the greatest heavyweight in Octagon history.
“No one’s ever defended it three times,” Miocic said. “I’ve done it and I had a killer row of fighters to get to it. I had a hard path to get to the title, and I’ve had a hard path to defend the title.”
Miocic is now on a six-fight win streak with no sign of stopping anytime soon. He recently defeated highly regarded fighters Junior dos Santos, Fabrício Werdum and Alistair Overeem. Ngannou admits he may have underestimated Miocic and even referred to him as “very smart.”
Ngannou started off strong but ran out of gas as the fight went on. He cornered Miocic near the fence and caused major swelling near his left eye in the opening round, but Miocic managed to roll his head and maneuver his way out of the dangerous position. Miocic waited for Ngannou to get reckless with his punches, ducked below them and went in for a takedown.
This was a huge turning point in the fight for Miocic, who was initially the betting underdog. The takedown scored most of his points in the round and allowed him to maneuver and save his energy while Ngannou threw too many punches and got fatigued. In the final four rounds, the fight was basically over. Ngannou was out of gas and was no match for Miocic, whose background in wrestling gives him a major edge on a fatigued opponent.
This fight is Ngannou’s first loss ever in the UFC and first overall loss since 2013. Miocic admitted that his performance tasted a little better because the odds were stacked against him.
“Now it means something to me,” Miocic said at the post-fight press conference. “I beat the guy that everyone thought I couldn’t beat, so it made it that much sweeter. This guy’s a phenom, he’s one-in-a-million, blah, blah, blah. Well guess what? He lost. He lost to a Midwest boy that’s 40 pounds lighter than him. And I’m the greatest heavyweight. I defended it three times. No one’s ever done that.”
Following the UFC 220, UFC president Dana White said that he’s interested in setting up a super fight between Miocic and Daniel Cormier, who also defended his light heavyweight belt against Volkan Oezdemir in Saturday’s co-headline match.
While Cormier has competed in the heavyweight division, he would be an underdog in this fight, especially considering he may have recently broken his thumb. Cormier was non-committal on any future meeting.
Contact Jay Mehta at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.