Francis Ngannou may not be the No. 1 heavyweight in the world, but when he challenges champion Stipe Miocic, he will be treated as such.
The 31-year-old Ngannou laid waste to perennial heavyweight power player Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 on Dec 2, clobbering “The Demolition Man” with a left uppercut at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Now with 10 straight stoppage wins to his credit, Ngannou will face Miocic for the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title sometime in 2018; so impressive was his knockout of Overeem that the Cameroonian has opened as a -160 favorite against the reigning Miocic.
A night prior to UFC 218, the promotion wrapped up “The Ultimate Fighter 26” in Las Vegas, crowning the season’s No. 14 seed, Nicco Montano, the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion. Montano was due to face Sijara Eubanks, who failed to make weight when her kidneys started shutting down. The grim situation, if nothing else, was advantageous for Montano, as she faced previously fourth-ranked flyweight Roxanne Modafferi instead. With her unanimous decision win, the new UFC champion makes her top-10 debut at No. 7, while Modafferi falls four spots to eighth.
This rankings update welcomes another newcomer courtesy of UFC 218: Strawweight vet Felice Herrig took her fourth straight win, earning a split decision over previously eighth-ranked Cortney Casey-Sanchez. As a result, Casey-Sanchez slips to our contenders list, while Herrig debuts at No. 10.
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