Turns out the MMA prophets who once doubted Miocic were just a few years off: At UFC 260, which took place March 27 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Predator beat Miocic with a vicious knockout at just shy of one minute into round 2 of their title bout. Watch below.
A shredded and deliberate Ngannou now wears the heavyweight title belt, and he's ready to take on all comers, including Jon Jones, whom Ngannou said after the match "is the greatest of all time for mixed martial arts."
"This time," Ngannou continued, "[Jones is] gonna be the challenger. I am the champ. He’s coming up. I’m ready any time.”
Francis Ngannou lived up to his nickname in his match against Miocic. He stalked his opponent carefully through round one and began ramping up his offense in the second round, perhaps surprising Miocic by repeatedly connecting with focused, hard lefts. The hardest blow ended the match at 52 seconds into round two.
Ngannou (16-3) later said his loss to Miocic (20-4) by decision in 2018 was a learning experience, calling it "a great benefit."
"I believe that benefit pushed me, rose me higher," Ngannou said. In other words, it pushed him to up his game. And The Predator did demonstrate improved takedown ability, making his punching power all the more dangerous to his opponent.
Ngannou's knockout was so brutal fans were concerned about Miocic's condition later, but his wife Ryan Marie later posted a photo of them smiling together on Instagram, reassuring fans.
For Ngannou this was his fifth win in a row, and his fifth knockout win, technical or not. It does indeed set up a title defense against Jon Jones, who was the UFC light heavyweight champion for quite some time.
Once Jones has had time to train up to a higher weight class, expect to see him face off against The Predator. Well, if the UFC pays him what he wants, that is. He tweeted as much Sunday morning.
There is no date set for the Ngannou-Jones match yet.
UFC 261 will take place in Jacksonville, Florida. Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman is expected to face Jorge Masvidal for the second time, and his belt will be on the line. They enter the Octagon on April 24, 2021.