Newly-crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic reaffirmed his claim to “baddest man on the planet” status by shutting down Daniel Cormier on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 241.
Miocic regained the belt that he lost to Cormier in their first bout back in July of 2018 when he was knocked out late in the first round. Behind on the judges’ scorecards after three rounds, Miocic adjusted his game plan in the fourth, landing some heavy body shots on Cormier before dropping and finishing him on the ground.
Miocic has been touted as the best UFC heavyweight of all-time as he became the first fighter ever to defend the heavyweight belt three times before losing it to Cormier in 2018. Now that the cage fighter slash firefighter has regained the belt, the question arises of whom he’ll face next.
One possible opponent at this point is Francis Ngannou who Miocic defeated via unanimous decision the in a title defense at UFC 220. “The Predator” has had his ups and downs since that fight but is currently on a tear, finishing top-10 contender Curtis Blaydes and former UFC champs Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos in his last three fights.
Ngannou was a recent guest on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” and claimed that he is the logical next choice to fight for the belt considering his recent form inside the Octagon (Transcribed via MMAJunkie.com):
“I’m here waiting for the rematch,” Ngannou said. “The title shot, and it would be unfair to not give me that fight because I’ve done what has to be done to deserve it, to prove that I can get the opportunity back.”
The 32-year-old Frenchman said he was impressed watching Miocic and Cormier battle it out on Saturday night after the pair -- for the most part -- ignored their wrestling and decided to strike it out:
“Honestly I didn’t expect this fight to be so intense,” Ngannou said. “It was such a great fight. They hit each other so well, threw punches, fight great. Just like a few wrestling attempts temptation, and all the fight they stand up, strike. I think Stipe take over. It might be that body shot that he put on ‘DC,’ affects ‘DC’ because ‘DC’ was doing very well. I mean maybe he was winning the fight before then, but since Stipe started with the body shot, that’s when he got in trouble, but it was a great fight.”