Sports

Francis Ngannou Earned A UFC Title Shot With An 18-Second KO At UFC 249

Francis Ngannou (15-3) knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1) seconds into their fight at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Fla., to earn the next title shot in the heavyweight division.

Rozenstruik opened slow with an inside leg kick before Ngannou unloaded with a flurry of shots, eventually landing with a left hook to put his opponent to sleep.

As Ngannou explained after the bout, he let his frustration boil over against Rozenstruik, having been overlooked for the next heavyweight title opportunity. Stipe Miocic is currently slated to finalize his trilogy with Daniel Cormier at some point this year. With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Miocic has been unable to train, pushing his eventual bout with Cormier down the road. Once that fight is out of the way, though, Dana White has confirmed Ngannou will be next in line for his second shot at UFC gold.

After losing his first title shot to Miocic in what was a career-altering loss in 2018, it was fair to question the future for Ngannou. He stumbled through a decision win over Derrick Lewis and had clearly lost his confidence. Since then, Ngannou has been on a tear, needing less than two minutes to knock out each of his last four opponents. Ngannou has now beaten top contenders Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, and the formerly unbeaten Rozenstruik in his last three fights.

×