Francis Ngannou is officially the baddest man on the UFC roster, taking the heavyweight championship from Stipe Miocic via second-round knockout at UFC 260 on Saturday.
After losing a decision to Miocic in their first fight, the improvements to Ngannou's game were clear. Instead of rushing the champion, he took his time. He clearly had the Ohioan hurt in the first round but took his time and even defended a takedown.
Miocic absorbed a ton of damage but showed off his toughness to make it to the second round.
Even a fighter like Miocic has his limits, though. The now-former champion fired back with a right hand of his own that landed but lulled him into a false sense of security that opened him up for the finishing blow.
This version of Ngannou is a terrifying champion. His previous four wins came in two minutes and 42 seconds combined. Now that he's proved he can fight beyond the first few minutes, a matchup with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the biggest fight the UFC can make.
Here's a look at the rest of the action that went down in Las Vegas.
Main card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
- Francis Ngannou def. Stipe Miocic via KO at 0:52 or Round 2
- Vicente Luque def. Tyron Woodley via submission (D'Arce choke) at 3:56 of Round 1
- Sean O'Malley def. Thomas Almeida via KO at 3:52 of Round 3
- Miranda Maverick def. Gillian Robertson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Jamie Mullarkey def. Khama Worthy via KO at 0:46 of Round 1
Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)
- Alonzo Menifield def. Fabio Cherant via submission (Von Flue choke) at 1:11 of Round 1
- Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jared Gooden via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Modestas Bukauskas via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Omar Morales def. Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Prelims (ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET)
- Marc-Andre Barriault def. Abu Azaitar via TKO at 4:56 of Round 3
Vicente Luque def. Tyron Woodley
Vicente Luque finally had a breakout performance against a big-name opponent with a first-round submission win over Tyron Woodley in the co-main event.
Woodley showed signs of life in an action-packed first round. He attempted to take down the Brazilian and found a home for his signature right hand. Unfortunately for him, Luque proved to be incredibly durable and fired right back.
The result was a slugfest that T-Wood was unable to handle.
Luque eventually floored Woodley and used the opportunity to latch on to a D'Arce choke. Woodley had no time to defend it and was forced to tap.
This is a huge win for Luque who is now 9-1 in his last 10 fights and has only lost to Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards in the last four years. It's time he gets another crack at one of those guys or gets a top-five opponent in his next fight.
Sean O'Malley def. Thomas Almeida
Sean O'Malley is back to winning fights with a third-round knockout win over Thomas Almeida.
O'Malley nearly scored the KO win in the first frame. He dropped Almeida but walked away before the referee actually called the fight.
It appeared for a bit that it would cost Sugar a finish, but he got a chance for redemption with a well-timed left hand that floored Almeida. He didn't leave it up to the referee to decide whether it was enough for the win this time.
He finished the job and officially bounced back from his loss to Marlon "Chito" Vera in his last bout.
As usual, this was a fun performance from O'Malley. His unorthodox striking and power continue to make him one of the most interesting fighters in the organization. We should see him against a top-ranked opponent on another card soon.
Miranda Maverick def. Gillian Robertson
Miranda Maverick continues to look like a prospect on the rise. In a fight that had a little bit of everything, the 23-year-old showcased her wide-ranging skills in a unanimous-decision win over Gillian Robertson.
In the first round, Maverick showcased her striking. Her aggressive boxing earned her an early lead against Robertson as she was quicker and stronger in the standup.
The second round was all about the grappling. Robertson made a strong case to win the round but only got it on one judge's scorecard. She was able to find some advantageous positions, but Maverick showed the composure of a veteran to get out of those situations and land some damage of her own.
In the third round, Maverick was more aggressive in the grappling department. It was a strong display for her in all aspects and showed she should be able to avoid the pitfalls that hit a lot of up-and-comers.
This was only Maverick's second fight in the UFC, but she comes in with a good background in Invicta. She should be getting an even bigger opportunity next time out and is a name to watch in her division.
Jamie Mullarkey def. Khama Worthy
Fans saw a different side of Jamie Mullarkey in his third UFC fight. After losing back-to-back unanimous decisions in his first two fights, the Australian ended Khama Worthy's night early with a knockout in just 46 seconds.
Mullarkey unfurled a picturesque left hook that landed square on Worthy's jaw, causing a delayed faceplant knockout.
With the Australian picking up his first UFC win, he becomes an interesting prospect in the lightweight division. His first two opponents were a little less willing to exchange, and this result is more in line with what he showed in his pre-UFC fights.
Worthy, on the other hand, appears to have a fatal flaw that has crept back into his game. This is the second fight in a row in which he's been knocked out in the first round.
It's the fifth first-round knockout loss of his career.