The Cameroonian goliath Francis Ngannou (6’4, 235 lbs) made headlines Friday after his dominating first round victory against overall number 3 ranked heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes, pulling Ngannou back into the spotlight.
Francis “The Predator” Ngannou had always been destined for greatness. Breaking onto the Octagon in 2015, The Predator beat Brazilian fighter Luis Henrique by way of knockout with just under 3 minutes on the clock. This win promptly skyrocketed Ngannou through the rankings. However, Ngannou’s success went unchecked. In January, he was given a shot at the heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic, a move which many UFC fans rightfully considered to be premature. These grievances were proven to be valid, as Miocic defeated Ngannou with a significant strike ratio of 7:2.1. Miocic landed a total of 144 strikes on the ground, while Ngannou only managed to connect on 1, according to the UFC’s official statistics. This loss evidently put Ngannou in a bit of a slump, and he lost again in July to Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis.
After Friday’s fight, however, it’s safe to say that Ngannou is back on his path to the top of the UFC heavyweight food chain. In just 45 seconds, Ngannou was able to pull off a KO/TKO, connecting on 11 shots to the head out of his 13 total strikes. Ngannou started off the fight by landing 3 shots at a distance, which he used to close in on Blaydes. He then popped off 5 shots from the clinch, sending Blaydes to the floor, where Ngannou rained down 5 more punches before the fight was stopped.
Only time will tell whether or not Ngannou will be able to replicate this outstanding performance against tougher fighters, but one thing is clear: Francis Ngannou is not the same fighter he was in January.
Image Source: UFC