Stipe Miocic Earns Lopsided Win Over Francis Ngannou, Becomes Longest Reigning UFC Heavyweight Champ

Stipe Miocic put on a five round clinch to down heavy-handed challenger Francis Ngannou

Stipe Miocic is still the baddest man on the planet.

On Saturday night in front of more than 16,000 fans in Boston, Miocic put on a five round clinic to punish Francis Ngannou en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win to defend his UFC heavyweight title for the third time.

By defending his belt three times, Miocic is now the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history surpassing a list of legends and Hall of Fame former champions that includes Randy Couture, Mark Coleman and Brock Lesnar.

To get the job done, Miocic had to avoid an early scare in the opening round as the heavy-handed Ngannou was out head hunting as soon as the fight began.

Ngannou wasted no time rushing into the fray as he was throwing bombs at Miocic, trying to land the knockout with every punch he threw with the champion on his bicycle playing defense for the first half of the opening round. Ngannnou connected on a couple of shots but as seconds ticked away into minutes, he started to slow down and that was like a signal for Miocic to turn on his offensive onslaught.

Miocic, a former Division I wrestler from Cleveland State, showed off his grappling prowess throughout the fight as he took Ngannou down to the ground six times over five rounds and like a video game each time he landed the takedown he could almost see the Cameroonian’s energy levels draining more and more.

By the end of the first round, Ngannou was already labored in his breathing while Miocic was just getting warmed up although he did have a mouse develop under his eye thanks to a couple of the clubbing blows he absorbed.

Round by round past the first, Miocic remained in complete control mixing up a strategic boxing attack along with well timed takedowns that not only allowed him to punish Ngannou on the ground but he absolutely zapped the giant Cameroonian’s gas tank with every passing minute of the fight.

Ngannou tried desperately to wing one of his giant sledgehammer like shots at Miocic any time he got a little distance or at the start of the round, but he just couldn’t put any kind of combination together that the champion didn’t see coming.

Once the fourth and fifth rounds took place, Miocic was essentially picking his spots, taking Ngannou to the ground at will and just peppering him with punches to the head and knees to the body. There were more than a few moments when it appeared that Miocic might get the finish but Ngannou did manage to survive to the final horn.

Still when it was over there was no doubt who won as Miocic earned a clean sweep from the judges with 50-44 scores across the board as he retained the UFC heavyweight championship.

“He was dangerous. Look how big he is. He’s a tough dude,” Miocic said about Ngannou. “He hit me hard a few times. It definitely didn’t feel good, but I was all right. I’m going to get back to the drawing board and get better.”

Miocic paid credit to Ngannou for his performance but ultimately the Ohio native was dominant in victory as he out landed the No. 1 contender in the division by 200 to 33 in total strikes while landing over 73-percent of his significant strikes over five rounds.

When it comes to his record breaking performance where Miocic now stands alone as the longest reigning champion in UFC heavyweight history, he didn’t even want to address that because he had more important news on his mind.

“I’m going to be a dad,” Miocic said with a huge smile on his face. “That’s all that matters to me. I’m having a baby!”

Miocic has never been the kind of fighter to tout his own accomplishments but to do what he did on Saturday night deserves a lot of praise. Considering the legends who have held the UFC heavyweight title in the past yet no one was able to get past two defenses until now speaks volumes about what Miocic was able to achieve.

Now he stands alone on top of the mountain but considering Miocic’s dedication to the sport, he’s far from finished setting records.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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