Francis Ngannou began his reign as UFC heavyweight champion after knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.
Everybody in MMA knows the Cameroonian carries insane power. All five of his last fights have ended in knockout and four of those came in the first round.
However, when he knocked out Miocic, he really wasn’t expecting it.
Ngannou was awarded the Performance of the Night bonus for his victory and he had shown plenty of growth in his game inside the octagon after working with UFC middleweight Kamaru Usman.
Miocic’s previous tactics of smothering Ngannou’s power and beating him up in the clinch just wasn’t going to work this time. Even though Ngannou got the bonus, the champion thinks referee Herb Dean deserved it!
“No, honestly I watched this fight and I saw Herb Dean’s action and I think it should be the performance of the night,” Ngannou told heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson in a recent interview (h/t Derek Hall of Middle Easy).
“Did you see how fast he ran? He was moving backwards, and then after the action you see how fast he moved in? The guy was on notice. He knew that if Francis touch him, don’t let (Francis) touch him again.”
Incredibly, Ngannou doesn’t know his own strength. He says he was surprised he knocked out Miocic when he did.
“I didn’t feel like I hurt him. I was like ‘Why are you falling?’ Ngannou said. “I (threw the punch) just to counter and he went down and I’m like ‘Okay, what? I don’t know what happened but I have to follow to secure the win.’”
The ongoing saga right now between Jon Jones and the UFC is putting a doubt on who Ngannou’s next opponent will be.
UFC offered the fight to Derrick Lewis – who has previously beaten Ngannou – but the champion didn’t want to fight in June on the proposed date.
Everyone wants to see Jones vs Ngannou, but the deal seems a way off right now.