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What Went Wrong for Stipe Miocic Against Francis Ngannou at UFC 260?

Francis Ngannou is the new heavyweight champion of the world. The Cameroonian-born fighter defied the critics and triumphed over arguably the greatest heavyweight champion of all-time Stipe Miocic, to become the UFC’s new heavyweight champion of the world with a vicious second-round KO win at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Ngannou looked like a completely different fighter, and even UFC President Dana White couldn’t help but praise the African fighter who is bound to become an even bigger star with this win. Ngannou looked in great shape ahead of the fight and even promised that cardio won’t be an issue leading into the match-up. After everything was said and done, Ngannou walked out of the Octagon with the heavyweight championship wrapped around his waist.

However, the win did not come easy and it wasn’t just the ferocious power in Ngannou’s hand that got him the victory over Stipe Miocic. Ngannou made a huge improvement from his last fight and looked in complete control before picking up the stoppage victory to grab the heavyweight gold.

What went wrong for Stipe Miocic?

Stipe Miocic was quite confident heading into the rematch. Needless to say, Miocic was confident because he had done it before and felt that he could replicate it heading into UFC 260. However, Ngnnou came out stronger than ever and showed great variety in his attacks, which was a complete surprise for many fight fans.

Stipe Miocic

Ngannou started the first round with a brutal calf kick, and looked more poised and composed than we have ever seen him inside the Octagon. If we take a look at Ngannou’s last fight where he picked up a brutal KO win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik back at UFC 249, one can argue that Ngannou looked like the same fighter, lunging with haymakers to secure a stoppage win. However, that wasn’t the case as he stepped inside the Octagon against Stipe Miocic this weekend.

The impact of Kamaru Usman in the fight camp

One cannot deny the significance of Kamaru Usman in Ngannou’s camp leading into the fight. The importance of Usman in Ngannou’s camp was evident from the improvement in Ngannou’s ground game that saw him defend the early takedown from Miocic.

“I didn’t have a good understanding of controlling the time. I was going there to not fight during the time but to fight instantly. I didn’t understand the patient part of it, how they call it.” Ngannou said in the press conference.

However, it wasn’t just defending the takedown, but the reversal and the flurry of shots that Ngannou executed during the change that set him apart from his previous performance against Miocic.

Needless to say, Ngannou’s rise as a true heavyweight contender is a story that will be remembered for the time to come. Even UFC President Dana White saw a completely different fighter in Ngannou at UFC 260.


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