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Best Francis Ngannou Knockouts: Top 5 Finishes

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This weekend, Francis Ngannou will be defending his title for the first time in a unification bout against title challenger, interim champion, and former teammate Cyril Gane at UFC 270. It’s all happening Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET, and as the first UFC PPV of the 2022, you’ll need to

sign up for ESPN+

in order to watch the UFC 270 online live stream.

In the meantime, now’s the perfect chance to look at some of the high points of Francis Ngannou’s UFC career. With 12 of his 16 victories having been won via KO or TKO, it’s safe to say that Ngannou is one of the UFC’s best knockout artists and to prove our point, we’ve highlighted the champ’s five best finishes below.

UFC on Fox 17: Ngannou vs. Henrique

UFC Debut: Francis Ngannou vs Luis Henrique | Free Fight

Ngannou made his UFC debut in December of 2015 at UFC on Fox 17, which is still regarded as having one of the best fight cards in MMA history. Some of the best combatants in the history of the sport (as well as a few future champions, including Ngannou himself) fought this night, with the talent including names like Donald Cerrone, Charles Oliveira, Nate Diaz, and Kamaru Usman. Ngannou, a newcomer to the league, was on the preliminary card, where he faced Brazilian fighter Luis Henrique. Henrique fell to an uppercut halfway into the second round, marking Ngannou’s first knockout victory in the UFC — and it would be far from his last.

UFC 218: Ngannou vs. Overeem

Francis Ngannou's Stunning KO of Alistair Overeem | UFC 218, 2017 | On This Day

At UFC 218, Ngannou faced Alistair Overeem on the main card. This heavyweight clash served as the co-main event and resulted in one of the most vicious and stunning knockouts not only of Ngannou’s career but possibly in the history of the division. In the first round, the two grappled a bit before trading light blows, each trying to get a feel for the other and fish for a setup. A quick clash in the second minute began with some missed punches right before Ngannou connected with an incredible uppercut to Overeem’s chin, sending his opponent flat at the 1:42 mark. It was Ngannou’s sixth victory in the UFC and earned him a title shot, but he would go on to meet his first defeat at the hands of defending champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 2020.

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UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs. Blaydes 2

On This Day: Blaydes vs Ngannou 2 | UFC Beijing, 2018 | FREE FIGHT

After suffering back-to-back decision losses at UFC 220 and UFC 226, Ngannou took a rematch with Curtis Blaydes. The two had met previously at UFC Fight Night in 2016, where Ngannou won via a doctor stoppage after the end of round two. They met again on November 24, 2018, in Beijing, China, and their second fight served as the headliner for the night. After feeling each other out for a bit (and Blaydes trying and failing to secure a takedown), Ngannou landed a hard hook that sent his opponent stumbling. Blaydes attempted to get back on his feet, but Ngannou gave him no room to breathe, pressing on him with a barrage of punches. After Blaydes proved unable to stage a recovery and the blows kept raining down, the ref stopped the fight at 45 seconds into the first round.

UFC 249: Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik

In May 2020, Ngannou faced off against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249. It was Ngannou’s last fight before becoming champion and yet another first-round knockout win for the French-Cameroonian heavyweight. After spending only a few seconds testing his opponent’s defenses, Ngannou burst forth with a flurry of punches that sent Rozenstruik scrambling backward. Rozenstruik’s defense seemed to melt in the face of Ngannou’s aggressive blitz, and after several fierce blows to the head, he slumped back against the cage unconscious at just 20 seconds in the first round. This quick knockout victory earned Ngannou his second title shot — his long-awaited rematch against Stipe Miocic.

UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2

UFC 270 Free Fight: Francis Ngannou vs Stipe Miocic 2

Then-champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou met for the second time at UFC 260 in March 2021, with the heavyweight title bout serving as the main event. In the first round, the two fighters felt each other out for about two minutes before a failed takedown attempt put Ngannou in the dominant position, where he was able to deliver multiple punches to Miocic’s head and face from behind. Miocic recovered, however, escaping Ngannou’s own takedown attempt to survive to the second round.

In round two, after about 40 seconds of back-and-forth setup attempts, Ngannou landed a hard left jab that send Miocic reeling. The title challenger wasted no time in pressing his advantage, pinning the champ against the cage. Miocic managed to free himself and move back to the center of the Octagon, squaring up with his opponent again, but just as it looked as if he had escaped, Ngannou managed to deliver yet another left jab to the jaw which sent Miocic to the mat. At 52 seconds into the second round, Stipe Miocic had been knocked out and Francis Ngannou was the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Now, Ngannou will be the one defending the heavyweight title, and if you want to watch the UFC 270 live stream online to see how it goes down, you’ve still got time to

sign up for ESPN+

and grab the UFC 270 pay-per-view. New subscribers can also get a one-year ESPN+ subscription along with the UFC 270 PPV for $100, enjoying a $40 discount.

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Lucas Coll
Lucas Coll is a freelance commerce and affiliate writer for The Manual and our tech-focused brother site, Digital Trends…
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