Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Watch: Stephen Thompson Attempts To Break Francis Ngannou’s Punching Record

UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson recently gave some context to just how powerful heavyweight king Francis Ngannou is.

Ngannou forged a path to championship glory that left unconscious bodies in his wake. Prior to brutally knocking Stipe Miocic out last March to be crowned the heavyweight titleholder, “The Predator” recorded four consecutive first-round finishes, two of which slept Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

So, what is required to amass 12 knockouts in 17 wins and send elite heavyweights to the shadow realm in an instant? A bloody hard punch.

But how hard can Ngannou really hit? Well, fortunately, we’ve got a mind-boggling number that provides a metric for the Cameroonian’s power.

In 2017, Ngannou tested his hardest hits at the UFC Performance Institute. The heavyweight champ smashed the previous record held by Tyrone Spong, demonstrating punching power of just north of 129,000 units. The number marked the highest recording in the world.

But can two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson come close to breaking it? Well, no. But he gave it a good go.

In a recent video uploaded to YouTube, “Wonderboy” puts his power to the test in an attempt to surpass Ngannou’s record hit. While he did gradually improve with each strike, rising from an initial 38,915 units to 58,006 units, the elite striker couldn’t achieve half of Ngannou’s total.

Thompson Returns In December, Ngannou’s Future Uncertain

While fans may be eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see Ngannou’s punching power on display again, his future on MMA’s biggest stage remains uncertain as he nears the end of his recovery from knee surgery.

“The Predator” has been embroiled in a contractual dispute with the UFC for the best part of a year, with a desire to enter the ring labeled as one of the key boxes Ngannou is looking for any new deal to tick.

While the promotion looks to solve that issue, and perhaps line the heavyweight king up with the returning Jon Jones in 2023, Thompson is preparing to make his comeback after a year on the sidelines next month.

Having had his grappling deficiencies exposed by Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad in 2021, “Wonderboy” will have the chance to return to striking ways when he meets Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Orlando, set for the Amway Center on December 3.

Is Francis Ngannou’s punching power even more impressive following Stephen Thompson’s score?