UFC 260 featured a rematch between two titans in the heavyweight division between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. Ngannou showed that he corrected all his faults to become the heavyweight champion of the world and what lies next for him, will only add to his great story.
Early Hits to The Card
While UFC 259 stayed intact, UFC 260 went right back to taking hits as during the broadcast of UFC Vegas 22 it was announced the co-main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega had to be postponed due to Volkanovski testing positive for COVID-19. Later, Hannah Goldy, Jessica Penne, Luana Pinheiro, and Randa Markos would be rescheduled for later dates also due to COVID-19 protocols. William Knight was removed from his bout against Alonzo Menifield but that fight was saved by last-minute replacement, LFA light heavyweight champ Fabio Cherant.
Fighter safety is a priority, right? With all the knees and eye pokes that have happened at the UFC Apex lately, one would hope those recent incidents would not draw any more ire on referees. But one would be wrong. Enter Jerin Vilel in his only assignment of the night. Marc-André Barriault’s third-round assault of Abu Azaitar could have been stopped when he fell over trying to retrieve his mouthpiece. In Vilel’s defense, when he called for action Azaitar did acknowledge it and try to keep moving but the fight seems like it could have been stopped sooner.
Fear The Maverick
The flyweight division has a new threat in Miranda Maverick. As she picked up her second win of her UFC career, the former Invicta FC Phoenix Series 2 Flyweight Tournament winner is proving to be evolving well in MMA. Her fight against Gillian Robertson showed she can remain calm and focused when she gets in trouble as she did in the second round. Her patience paid off as she was still able to finish the round on her feet and pick up a decision victory against a very seasoned flyweight. Keep an eye on her.
The Sugar Show Belated
Sean O’Malley almost got the win earlier than expected. It could have been over in the first round but O’Malley celebrated a little earlier than he should have. Corrected in round three but credit to Thomas Almeida for coming back a little bit and giving O’Malley a good return to the win column. In his post-fight interview, when asked about the premature celebration O’Malley said, “I thought he was done. That dude is legit, so tough.” See the actual finish below:
Luque vs. Woodley
The co-main event between Tyron Woodley and Vicent Luque did not go down as many fans thought. Firstly, because Woodley came out aggressive and nearly finished Luque, then Luque turned the tables and started winning the striking exchange. Woodley would defer to his wrestling when he got in trouble, but still feeling the cobwebs from the strikes fell into D’Arce choke. Before this fight, Woodley’s motivation and focus were in question. While he did lose, the fact that he risked more showed he may have a renewed interest in fighting. As for Luque, beating a former champion always makes for a nice feather in his cap.
Francis Ngannou has made the adjustments to climb the ranks in the heavyweight division again and find himself in front of the man that derailed his original hype train. Being cornered by a great champ in Kamaru Usman likely helped but Ngannou not only has power, he has patience which played well for him against Miocic. Great win for Ngannou.
“Show Me The Money” -Jon Jones
With Jon Jones moving to heavyweight after dominating the light heavyweight division it looks like the big puncher in Ngannou will make for the UFC’s next great event. History has shown that Miocic will be made to wait when matchups like that are on deck. Remember how long he had to wait for his rematch against Daniel Cormier. This time, it’s hard to argue because Jones at heavyweight is a true unknown variable.
There’s obviously more to take away from this event than what is listed here. With the UFC’s first quarter nearly in the books, the rest of 2021 is already turning out to be another big year for them.
What did you take away from the event?