The Francis Ngannou era has officially begun. Ngannou knocked out the greatest heavyweight champion of all time, Stipe Miocic in brutal fashion to win the UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 260.
The rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou was a lot different than the outcome of the first fight. And there were a lot of factors behind those changes in outcome. Francis Ngannou has improved significantly since the first fight. Miocic came in 30 lbs lighter than Ngannou for the rematch. And probably one of the biggest factors was Miocic’s age and the damage he has taken in the last few years.’
Stipe Miocic fought his toughest opponent yet, Daniel Cormier in a trilogy over the last 2 years. He had 10 rounds of wars with Cormier that must have taken a toll on him. Despite that Miocic looked durable and took the vicious blows of Ngannou very well in the first round. However, as per Colby Covington, that’s one of the big reasons Miocic lost to Francis Ngannou.
It was surprising to see Colby Covington heaping praises for the former heavyweight champion as he always trashes pretty much everyone in UFC. However, Covington has stayed true to his wrestler community and does respect great wrestlers such as Daniel Cormier. And this was a moment in the interview when Covington broke his heel character to praise Miocic.
What’s next for Stipe Miocic?
In a recent interview with Helen Yee, Colby Covington opened up about Miocic’s loss to Ngannou and stated:
“He(Francis Ngannou) looked good. he had a good game plan. He looked like his wrestling has improved. And he went out there and got the job done. I think what we saw in Stipe is a guy that’s a little bit aged, those two wars with Daniel Cormier really played a big difference. Actually three wars with Daniel Cormier. Daniel Cormier is the natty GOAT and he took definitely some time off from Stipe’s life. I think Stipe probably should retire and just focus on being a parent. He’s made a great life for him had a great legacy, he’s still the heavyweight GOAT.”
Stipe Miocic is the most accomplished heavyweight champion of all time and he is still considered the heavyweight GOAT despite the loss to Francis Ngannou. He has beaten the who’s who of the UFC heavyweight division. But, regaining the heavyweight throne will be a tough task for Miocic going forward.
Not often we have seen fighters going on an incredible run after such a vicious knockout loss. It won’t be surprising if the potential trilogy between Ngannou and Miocic goes the same way. However, it must be considered that Miocic has never lost to any fighter twice and he has avenged every loss inside the octagon except for the loss to Stefan Struve. So we might see another resurgence of Stipe Miocic. But, it’s very likely that he is not going to return to the octagon in 2021.