Francis Ngannou’s left uppercut laid waste to Alistair Overeem and shot him up to the number one spot in the heavyweight contender rankings and now he has a date with the Riegning! Defending! Undisputed! Heavyweight champion of the Woooooooorld Stipe Miocic. The fight might not just be for the title but the future of the heavyweight division.
Miocic’s rise to the top of the mountain has been a list of triumphs over a litany of legendary fighters, Mark Hunt, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and Junior Dos Santos have all tried and lost against the reigning champ. Stipe represents the new breed of MMa fighter, although his background is in wrestling, since beginning his pro training he has been based totally in MMA. As opposed to previous generations of fighters in the UFC who were world champions in specific fields like kickboxing or Jiu Jitsu and then adapted their games to the octagon.
Ngannou is in a similar vein, he originally planned on being a boxer until fate took a turn and he found himself in an MMA gym. Ngannou has been on a tear since entering the UFC, he’s a perfect six and zero. His latest feet of KOing Overeem has set him up to maybe stand alongside Miocic as the top tier of a new generation of heavyweights.
Both of these guys have been brutalizing their competition, neither of them has let the judges make a decision for them in their last five fights. Miocic has five straight KOs against top tier competition and Ngannou has four KOs and one submission. Although they don’t seem to be very impressed with each other, on Joe Rogan’s podcast the Joe Rogan Experience, Miocic said that he’s walking out with the title, he’s not scared of Ngannou’s power because everyone in the heavyweight division hits hard and that Overeem got sloppy against Ngannou.
Tough talk makes for drama and drama is good for business. Miocic vs Ngannou at UFC 220 might be the start of the next great saga in MMA.
Written by: Jason MacKinnon