Francis Ngannou came into UFC 220 with a metric ton of hype, having just crushed his past several opponents in highlight reel fashion. Leading up to the event, UFC president Dana White declared Ngannou a potential future superstar for the organization, which left heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic feeling a little left out promotion-wise. He took that frustration out on Ngannou in the cage, using his experience to counter Ngannou on the feet and exhaust him on the ground, earning a dominating decision victory 50-44, 50-44, and 50-44 on the scorecards.
The first round saw Ngannou come out hot and heavy, swinging uppercuts like a kid spamming the controller in a Street Fighter 2 match. Miocic weathered the storm and picked his shots, countering when he could and rattling the Cameroonian challenger later in the round before taking him down to the canvas. Round 2 saw Stipe take near total control of the fight, working Ngannou over on the mat and leaning heavily on him as he tried to get back to his feet.
Round three saw Ngannou back in the fight, staying on his feet and starting to land again with some dangerous hooks. Miocic was still out landing his opponent, but everything Ngannou threw was with deadly intentions, and it felt like the fight could change off a single punch from the challenger while Miocic was being forced to pound Ngannou into submission.
That’s exactly what he ended up doing in round four. Once again Miocic took Ngannou down to the ground, hammering away at him with unrelenting ground and pound. When Ngannou struggled to his knees, Miocic leaned heavily on him, forcing him to carry his weight while continuing to hit him from all angles with short, heavy punches and the occasional knee to the body. All Ngannou could do to defend himself was hold his palm up in front of his face to try and absorb some of the damage coming his way.
Ngannou came out in the fifth on wobbly legs and Miocic immediately shot in, pushing the challenger against the cage to nullify his striking before attempting to drag him to the ground. Ngannou defended and even attacked with a front choke, but looked absolutely gassed and was unable to do much with it. The ref stepped in and separated the two, and while Ngannou’s strikes still looked dangerous it was Stipe who was fast enough to jump in and actually land his strikes. The fight ended with a flying knee from Ngannou that put him right into the arms of Miocic, who pushed him against the cage to ride out the clock.
With that win, Miocic has defended his UFC heavyweight titles three times in a row, which shockingly enough is the most its ever been defended. Or maybe that’s understandable considering how hard these guys hit and how one punch can put you out. Maybe now Stipe can get some more respect from the fans and his promotion. But even if he can’t, it doesn’t seem to bother him. When Joe Rogan commented on his record breaking feat, the champ replied “This don’t mean s**t, I’m gonna be a dad, that’s all that matters to me. I’m having a baby!”