UFC 260 Report: Ngannou knocks out Miocic to win heavyweight title

Originally published at UFC 260 Report: Ngannou knocks out Miocic to win heavyweight title

UFC 260 Report: Francis Ngannou knocks out Stipe Miocic to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

UFC 260 took place on Saturday night, at the UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was headlined by a rematch for the UFC Heavyweight Championship between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. Their first fight took place at UFC 220, in January of 2018, a fight that Miocic won, and largely dominated. Since then, Miocic has fought Daniel Cormier three times, in which he lost, reclaimed, and ultimately defended, his UFC Heavyweight Championship. In that same span of time, Francis Ngannou has fought five times, and he has won his last four fights in a combined time of fewer than three minutes. In the co-main event, former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley looked to end his current string of losses against one of the division’s most entertaining fighters, Vicente Luque. A featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega was expected to co-headline this event, but the fight was removed from the card after Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19.

The commentary team for this event consisted of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Daniel Cormier. Performance bonuses were awarded to Francis Ngannou and Sean O’Malley. Fight of the Night bonuses went out to Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque.


*Marc-Andre Barriault def. Abu Azaitar by TKO at 4:56 of Round 3

*Omar Morales def. Shane Young by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Modestas Bukauskas by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

*Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jared Gooden by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

*Alonzo Menifield def. Fabio Cherant by Von Flue choke at 1:11 of Round 1

*Jamie Mullarkey def. Khama Worthy by KO at 0:46 of Round 1

*Miranda Maverick def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision (30-27, 20-27, 29-28)

*Sean O’Malley def. Thomas Almeida by KO at 3:52 of Round 3

*Vicente Luque def. Tyron Woodley by D’Arce choke at 3:56 of Round 1

*Francis Ngannou def. Stipe Miocic by KO at 0:52 of Round 2


Azaitar began the fight aggressively, and Barriault pressed him against the cage to quell his momentum. A low blow separated them, and Azaitar resumed his attack when the action resumed. He landed a solid knee to the body and he clinched Barriault up against the cage. Azaitar landed a long combination of hard punches to the body, as well as a few more knees. He also spent a great deal of the round attacking the lead leg of Barriault, and there was no question in my mind that he won this round.

Azaitar continued to swing heavy hooks to the body in the second round. They exchanged uppercuts in the clinch, and Azaitar landed a powerful right hand that hurt Barriault. Barriault recovered quickly, and he landed some very sharp elbows in another clinch exchange. Azaitar looked exhausted, and Barriault was starting to really pull ahead with his activity. While Azaitar landed the most impactful shot of the round, I gave it to Barriault based largely on the strike differential, and he was definitely taking over before time expired.

Barriault knew that Azaitar was exhausted, and he was really turning on the pressure in this final round. He had Azaitar hurt badly, and there was this strange sequence where Azaitar looked like he was just about out, and the referee approached them in a fashion that would make you believe he was stopping the fight, but he was merely attempting to pause it in order to give Azaitar back his mouthpiece. Barriault proceeded to land countless brutal ground and pound shots on Azaitar, but Azaitar did just enough in the referees’ eyes to keep him from stopping the fight. This was the entirety of the round until it was finally stopped with seconds remaining.

WINNER: Marc-Andre Barriault by TKO at 4:56 of Round 3

Barriault was well on his way to a 10-7 round in the third before it was mercifully stopped. I thought the fight could have been stopped about three minutes beforehand, and to finally call it moments, before time expired, was strange to me. Regardless, Barriault overcame a lot of adversity in the first round to go on to dominate, and ultimately finish Azaitar. Barriault was 0-3 (1 NC) throughout four fights in the UFC, so this was a much-needed win for him here.


They exchanged a number of low kicks throughout this opening round. Morales connected with a head kick at one point, and he landed a solid knee not long thereafter. They spent a sizable amount of the round wrestling in the clinch, but it didn’t feel like either man pulled ahead in that position. Morales landed an uppercut near the end of the round. 10-9 Morales.

Young began the second round with a well-timed takedown. Morales escaped to his feet and threw a pair of leg kicks that were checked. Morales connected with a few jabs, as did Young, who was occasionally going to the body as well with his. Morales landed a solid right hand and really turned on the pressure near the end of the round. I thought the second round was very close, but I narrowly gave it to Morales.

Morales took Young down about ninety seconds into the third round, but he couldn’t keep him down for long. Morales defended a takedown from Young and caught him with a knee to the body as well. Morales continued to throw out his jab, and I thought he was getting the better of their exchanges on the feet here, although the numbers were very close. I scored the fight 30-27 for Morales.

WINNER: Omar Morales by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

The fight was close, but I felt as though Morales landed the better shots each round, and ultimately scored every round in his favor. I didn’t think this was Morales’s best performance in the UFC, nor his most entertaining fight, but after losing his last one, he needed to get back in the win column, and that’s exactly what he did here. Morales is now 3-1 in the UFC.


Oleksiejczuk landed a strong left hand in the opening thirty seconds, and he was applying a lot of pressure early. Bukauskas hurt Oleksiejczuk with a combination but was tagged by another huge shot from Oleksiejczuk that cut off his momentum. Oleksiejczuk threw a right hand to the body but was caught by a counter right in the process. Before the round ended, Bukauskas landed a slick spinning back kick to the body. 10-9 Oleksiejczuk.

Oleksiejczuk connected with a number of looping left hands throughout the first half of this round. Bukauskas fired back with a pair of right hands in the latter half of the round, and he partially connected with a 12-6 lead elbow. Bukauskas came alive and swarmed Oleksiejczuk with strikes late in the round, and I thought that gave him the edge after a fairly even round. 19-19.

The third round was another close one, and once again, I thought the round came down to the final minute. This time it was Oleksiejczuk who turned it on late, and he landed a liver shot that troubled Bukauskas. He didn’t capitalize on the moment, and instead went for a failed takedown, but I thought he did enough to take this final round. I scored the fight 29-28 for Oleksiejczuk.

WINNER: Michal Oleksiejczuk by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

This was a very close fight, and it really could have been scored either way. Both men landed hard shots in each round, and I thought both fighters gave a good account themselves in this fight. With this win, Oleksiejczuk has improved to 3-2 (1 NC) in the UFC, and Bukauskas is now 1-2 in the promotion.


Gooden was poked in the eye a couple of minutes into the fight, and the action was momentarily paused. Nurmagomedov hurt Gooden badly with a 1-2 when the fight resumed, but he wasn’t able to follow up on it. Gooden defended a takedown but was having trouble getting in offense of his own early in this one. Nurmagomedov hurt Gooden one more time with a left hand late in the round, but once again, Gooden recovered. 10-9 Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov continued to control the fight on the feet in the second round. Gooden found a bit of success with his body shots, but by and large, it felt as though he wasn’t accomplishing much offensively. Nurmagomedov was landing some really solid shots on the feet, but to Gooden’s credit, he showcased some impressive durability throughout the round. 20-18 Nurmagomedov.

Gooden defended a pair of takedowns early in the third round but ate an uppercut, and Nurmagomedov got him down on his third attempt. Nurmagomedov kept him down for the remainder of the round, and while he wasn’t terribly active, he kept top position until the bell sounded, and I thought he won this final round as well. 30-27 Nurmagomedov.

WINNER: Abubakar Nurmagomedov by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

Nurmagomedov looked great on the feet here, and this was about as clear of a 30-27 as you’ll ever see. Gooden did a good job of keeping the fight on the feet throughout the first two rounds, but he just couldn’t get his own offense going. This marked Nurmagomedov’s first win in the UFC after dropping his first bout in the promotion by first-round submission.


Cherant missed weight by 0.5lbs, and he was fined 20% of his purse.

Menifield wasted no time in bringing this fight to the ground. Cherant attempted a guillotine, but he ended up in the Von Flue choke position, and Menifield recognized it immediately. Menifield applied pressure to the throat of Cherant, and he was forced to submit.

WINNER: Alonzo Menifield by Von Flue choke at 1:11 of Round 1

I don’t know how many people called Menifield winning by Von Flue choke in about a minute, but that was about as impressive of a performance as you’ll see. Menifield was naturally the favorite against Cherant, who took this fight on short notice and missed weight, and he made good on those odds. Menifield improved to 3-2 in the UFC with this win.


Mullarkey tagged Worthy with a left hand less than a minute into the first round, and Worthy’s legs just gave out from under him as he fell face-first to the ground. Mullarkey followed the knockdown up with a series of right hands, and the fight was stopped.

WINNER: Jamie Mullarkey by KO at 0:46 of Round 1

Mullarkey set that left hand up perfectly, and it resulted in a brutal knockout to kick off this card. After losing his first two fights in the UFC, this was exactly the type of performance Mullarkey needed to make an impact in the promotion. I’ve been impressed with Mullarkey thus far into his UFC run, and I disagreed with the judge’s decision for his last fight. I think he may be somebody to keep an eye on at 155lbs, as he attempts to climb his way up the rankings.


Maverick began the fight with a combination of strikes, ending with a leg kick. Maverick caught a kick and took Robertson down in the latter half of the round, but Robertson made it back to her feet quickly. Maverick was landing the better strikes throughout the round, and she took Robertson down for a second time before time expired. 10-9 Maverick.

Robertson dragged Maverick down to the ground early in the second round, and she began to work from side control. Robertson transitioned to the back of Maverick, but couldn’t quite secure the position. Maverick tried to pick herself up against the cage, and Robertson dragged her right back down to the ground. Maverick escaped and created some distance with thirty seconds left in the round, and she blitzed Robertson with strikes, but I didn’t think she was able to do enough to steal the round back. 19-19.

Maverick sprawled on a takedown attempt from Robertson and took her back about a minute into the third round. Maverick transitioned on top, and she began to rain down some strong ground and pound shots. Robertson went for an armbar off of her back, and it allowed her to take Mavericks back momentarily, but Maverick scrambled up and took Robertson back down. 29-28 Maverick.

WINNER: Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

This was a solid all-around performance for Miranda Maverick here against an experienced opponent. There was a lot of debate concerning the scoring of the second round of this fight. While I scored the round for Robertson, I don’t fault the two judges for seeing it for Maverick either. The scoring criteria that they are expected to judge these rounds by emphasizes damage over control time, so I can’t fault them for giving the round to Maverick, even though I think that the scoring criteria are somewhat flawed when looking at that round as a whole. With this win, Maverick is now 2-0 in the UFC.


They exchanged leg kicks to begin the fight. O’Malley was feinting a lot, and he was the busier fighter early in the first. Almeida landed a big right hand, but he ate a huge head kick that rocked Almeida and O’Malley followed it up with a right hand that dropped him. Almeida got back to his feet, but O’Malley continued to light him up with right hands, and Almeida was hurt badly at this point. It was remarkable that Almeida recovered from that head kick, and if O’Malley followed up with some ground and pound strikes after he dropped Almeida, he might have finished the fight. O’Malley partially landed two more head kicks, and Almeida connected with a right hand before the end of the round. 10-8 O’Malley.

O’Malley began the second round with another powerful leg kick. Almeida landed one of his own but ate several kicks to the body not long after. O’Malley continued to be the busier fighter, and Almeida was having a bit of trouble dealing with the range of O’Malley. He did land a few more leg kicks throughout the round, but O’Malley’s feints kept him from being particularly busy offensively. 20-17 O’Malley.

O’Malley continued to attack the lead leg of Almeida in the third round. They had some powerful exchanges in the pocket, but it was O’Malley who continued to get the better of these exchanges, and Almeida continued to have difficulties finding his range. Late in the round, O’Malley tagged Almeida with a short-left hand that dropped him, and he followed Almeida to the ground with a brutal right hand that knocked him unconscious.

WINNER: Sean O’Malley by KO at 3:52 of Round 3

I thought this was perhaps Sean O’Malley’s best performance in the UFC thus far. Thomas Almeida is a tough fighter, and he showed off a lot of durabilities recovering from that knockdown in the first, but he was ultimately unable to deal with O’Malley’s range and faints here. This was certainly a tough loss for Thomas Almeida, who was undefeated for so long but has now gone 1-5 throughout his last six fights. For O’Malley on the other hand, this was a beautiful bounce-back performance after his lone professional loss to Marlon Vera last year.


Woodley wasted no time in loading up with a big right hand and shooting for a takedown. Luque defended the attempt and pressed Woodley against the cage before they separated. Woodley threw a number of quick right hands, and he was looking more aggressive than he has in years. This is where the fight got crazy. Woodley rocked Luque with a right hand, and Luque was hurt, but when Woodley moved in to finish the fight, Luque caught him with an overhand right, and Woodley’s legs were gone. Woodley looked half out of it, and Luque went on the attack. It looked like Woodley was a second away from being finished, and then Woodley landed another powerful right hand that backed Luque up momentarily. Still, Woodley was hurt badly, and Luque moved right back in to finish the fight. He eventually sent Woodley to the floor with a hook, and then he locked in a D’Arce choke, forcing Woodley to submit with about a minute remaining in the round.

WINNER: Vicente Luque by D’Arce choke at 3:56 of Round 1

This fight was a ton of fun while it lasted. Vicente Luque is always an entertaining fighter, and this fight was no exception. Woodley fought more aggressively than he as in years here, and it led to moments of success that have evaded him for some time, but it ultimately resulted in his loss as well. It’s tough to say what’s next for the former UFC Welterweight champion, who has now lost his last four fights. His UFC contract is up now, and one has to wonder if the soon-to-be 39-year-old Tyron Woodley will continue his MMA career. For Vicente Luque, this was the biggest win of his career thus far, and this win will move him quite close to the elite of the welterweight division. Luque called out Nate Diaz in his post-fight interview.


This was a rematch of their fight from January of 2018, a fight that Miocic won by unanimous decision to retain his UFC Heavyweight Championship.

Ngannou began the fight with a low kick and a strong body shot. He tagged Miocic with a hard right hand, and Miocic just ate it. Stipe shot for a takedown, and Ngannou sprawled, took Miocic down, and landed some nasty ground and pound shots before Miocic managed to pick himself up. Ngannou landed a head kick that yet again, Stipe took well. Miocic landed a number of calf kicks, and Ngannou answered with another strong leg kick of his own. 10-9 Ngannou.

Early in the second round, Ngannou knocked Miocic down with a step-in jab, and he swarmed Stipe, giving him no time to recover. He blasted Stipe with a left hook that knocked Miocic unconscious and landed a brutal hammerfist before Herb Dean moved in to call the fight.

WINNER: Francis Ngannou by KO at 0:52 of Round 2

Francis Ngannou fought a much smarter fight than he did in their first encounter, and Miocic was having trouble finding opportunities to get his own offense in over the course of the fight. There was a moment between the initial knockdown and the knockout blow, where Miocic landed a powerful right hand, and he went on the attack, and that’s when Francis caught him with the left hook that finished him. Ngannou is now the heavyweight champion, and there is no shortage of options available for him in the near future. A fight with Jon Jones, the trilogy with Stipe, a rematch with Derrick Lewis, or even a fight against his old sparring partner, Ciryl Gane. In the post-fight interview, Joe Rogan immediately pushed for the Jon Jones fight, and I think that’s the direction that the UFC will probably go in.

As for Stipe Miocic, he remains arguably the greatest heavyweight of all time, and he has little else to prove inside the octagon. I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks away from the sport, but if he chooses to continue his career, I imagine he’ll be pushing for the trilogy fight against Francis. He’s rebounded from tough losses before, and if the Jon Jones fight falls apart for whatever reason against Francis, the Miocic/Ngannou trilogy would be the sensible direction to go in.

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Jon Jones should be next. Thats the biggest fight to make right now after that.

No trilogy nonsense with Stipe. After that obliteration. He needs to prove he is ok to fight again.