By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC 260 was yesterday and featured a huge title change, let’s get right to the rundown.
GOOD- Jamie Mullarky stops Khama Worthy
They traded for a bit then Mullarky blasted Worthy with a big left hook that ended things forty-five seconds into the first round. Good win for Mullarky.
GOOD- Miranda Maverick vs. Gillian Robertson
The first round saw them trade punches and kicks until Maverick got a takedown. She couldn’t do anything with it, though, and they traded more until the round ended. The second round saw Robertson get a takedown and she threatened with some submission work. So we were even heading into the third round. They went to the ground and fought there for an extended period, with Maverick being more active and getting the decision victory from the judges. Good win for Maverick.
GOOD- Sean O’Malley stops Thomas Almeida
O’Malley came out beating the hell out of Almeida. He dropped him with a big shot in the first round but didn’t follow through so the referee kept the fight going. He then landed some big headkicks, and that was just the first round. Almeida fired back in the second round, though O’Malley still got the better of most exchanges and did more damage. The third round saw O’Malley throw a lot of kicks, though it was a straight left that dropped Almeida. It should have finished the fight but the putz ref Mark Smith wanted it to keep going so O’Malley hammered him stiff not quite four minutes into the third round. Thanks for the CTE, ref.
GOOD- Vicente Luque submits Tyron Woodley
Woodley came out firing and ready to go, but he got dropped by an overhand right from Luque. He fought through it but tried to mix it up and found himself caught in Luque’s D’Arce Choke and that was that, Woodley had to tap not quite four minutes into the first round.
GOOD- Francis Ngannou stops Stipe Miocic to become UFC Heavyweight Champion
Ngannou was all over Miocic in the first round, blasting him with punches and a few kicks. Miocic survived the round, but just barely. The second round saw Ngannou come out and drop Miocic, who tried to keep going but ended up getting bent over backwards from a big left hand. Referee Herb Dean was out of position and had to sprint over to try to stop Ngannou from making powder out of Miocic’s face. Dean was trending on Twitter, which is almost always bad news for officials. Anyway, Ngannou is your new UFC Heavyweight Champion. Good win for him.
BAD/GOOD- Stipe Miocic retirement talk
I don’t think Miocic will retire after this loss, but some people (including Joe Rogan) have suggested it as a real possibility. This sounds a little weird to say, but it is the heavyweight division, but Miocic is only 38 years old. He could fight for another couple years, because he’s at heavyweight. He also looks to be in good shape. Yeah, he looked outmatched and kind of weak against Ngannou, but that’s a guy who looks like he could knock out a horse with one of his punches. I don’t think a loss to him signifies anything regarding having to retire or anything.
Now, if he wants to retire, I get that. He’s had a fantastic career and has solidified his place in the pantheon of heavyweight fighters. Some have called him the greatest heavyweight of all, but even those who disagree with that would surely have him in the top three all-time. That was a bad knockout for sure, but I don’t think that means he should retire.
GOOD/BAD- What’s next for Francis Ngannou?
Ngannou wants to fight Jon Jones next. Jones wants to fight Ngannou. The fans want to see that. Sounds like an easy fight to make. The only thing in the way of that happening is money. Jones wants a lot of money for this fight. I don’t blame him. Number one, the UFC underpays its fighters anyway. Number two, Jones is putting his legacy on the line. It might be a tainted and tattered legacy and a lot of people may hate him but he’s never lost except for that BS Disqualification against Matt Hamill in 2009. No one has stopped or submitted him. You can bring up his drug use and all that, or say that Alexander Gustafsson should have beaten him in 2013, but Jones has never lost like that. So if he goes out there and gets his ass kicked by Ngannou, there goes that. Jones isn’t a very likeable guy, he doesn’t exactly have a lot of good will with most people. All he has is his record. Like I said, that record might be tainted in the eyes of a lot of people but you can’t deny it. So to risk that, I don’t blame him for wanting a lot of money.
As for Ngannou, this would be a big fight for him. Jon Jones is a fighting legend. Whether you hate him or not, the guy’s a legend, so this would be the biggest money fight for him. Nobody’s going to clamor for a trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic or a rematch against Derrick Lewis, not over a fight with Jones. The hype for a fight against Jones would be huge. Almost all of Ngannou’s fights have been exciting, a lot of early Jones fights were exciting, Jones is moving up in weight, and Ngannou’s title would be on the line. That’s the fight to make, no question about it.
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