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UFC 220: Stipe Miocic halts Francis Ngannou hype train

Stipe Miocic lands a right hand against Francis Ngannou during a heavyweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 220.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Stipe Miocic became the first fighter to defend the UFC heavyweight title three times, dominating Francis Ngannou for five rounds in a unanimous-decision victory Saturday night at UFC 220.

Miocic won 50-44 on all three scorecards and was never seriously tested by the raw but unrefined Ngannou.

Miocic (18-2) and Ngannou (11-2) had UFC fans buzzing with perhaps the most-hyped heavyweight title bout since Brock Lesnar was the class of the division. Both fighters have a history of finishing their foes within two rounds, and Ngannou was coming off a nasty knockout win just seven weeks ago.

Miocic and Ngannou tagged each other several times in the first round and both fighters were staggered and in trouble. But the fight got worse from there. Miocic spent the second and third rounds just banging away as Ngannou covered up, hoping for one last desperate knockout punch.

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He never found it.

In the co-main event, Daniel Cormier defended his light-heavyweight title with a dominating performance against Volkan Oezdemir.

Cormier (20-1) had the Boston crowd behind him and Oezdemir (16-1) taking shots in front of him, putting him away just two minutes into the second round. Cormier raised his hands in triumph as UFC President Dana White wrapped the title belt around his waist. He dropped to his knees on the canvas and said he proved he was worthy of being called champion.

Cormier was awarded the title after Jon Jones was stripped of his light-heavyweight belt when he failed his latest doping test.

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Cormier had lived in Jones’ shadow for the past few years of his career. But against Oezdemir, he was worthy of the title.

Cormier nearly put away Oezdemir in the first round with a choke until there was a late save by the bell.


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