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23 Enero 2018, 08:05 | Cornelio Vivanco
Stipe Miocic became the first UFC heavyweight champion to defend his title three times at UFC 220
And there was Miocic, stunned, shouting "I'mma world champ, I'mma world champ!" into the huddle of his corner's shoulders. The championship rounds offered little in the way of intrigue, as Ngannou had difficulty with the most rudimentary of movements, his 10-fight winning streak dying with a whimper.
The top five outside of Miocic and Ngannou is thin. The former Olympic wrestler sunk in a rear-naked choke but couldn't finish it before the end of the first round.
The first round was a firefight and Ngannou foolishly emptied his gas tank in an attempt to display his ferocious power punches.
Ngannou is 11-1 in his career and 6-0 in the UFC. Not just because of his 12-2 UFC record (18-2 overall), but because of whom he's had to fight to get to his perch. A takedown less than a minute into the second round put the light heavyweight champion in side control, from where he secured a crucifix that allowed him to unleash vicious ground-and-pound that made a stoppage a formality. Oezdemir defends initially, but then DC does get him down. Asked after the bout what set up the finishing flurry, he was at a loss. Cormier just looking to weather this early storm from the Swiss fighter.
The fifth round was nothing more than a formality as neither fighter put up much resistance.
You can peep the live stream of the UFC 220 post-fight press conference above. When we also consider that many of his fights ended in the first round, that equates to even less Octagon time. UFC granted an immediate rematch and Razak Alhassan left no doubt about this outcome. At some point in the fight, if Cormier wants to win, he will have to traverse the striking ranges of Oezdemir, and that is risky.
Now he has to face Ngannou, a fearsome opponent who scored knockouts over Arlovski and Overeem in his last two bouts. Miocic on top in half guard began raining down shots.
"I'm the baddest", Miocic said afterward.
With a touch of the gloves, the two hulking warriors met in the center of the Octagon. With the crowd starting to grow impatient, Miocic landed blow after blow to Ngannou's battered skull. Power isn't his only asset: he has submissions and the takedown defense to nullify Stipe's wrestling; he overpowers fighters in the clinch; he muscles out of disadvantageous positions; he is fast and he is patient.
"I've been in this sport only four years, and I know I'll keep learning and improving", Ngannou said. Overhand for Cormier backs up Oezdemir.
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