UFC Minneapolis: ’First round’ Ngannou adds another victim to his list

You come up against Francis Ngannou, don't expect to stay standing for long. He showed his knock-out power again on Saturday night.

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Hulking Cameroonian knockout machine Francis Ngannou is a scary, scary man, and the terrifyingly powerful heavyweight showed exactly why on Saturday night with yet another devastating first-round finish of an elite-level UFC heavyweight.

Taking his turn on Saturday night was former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, who had offered the opinion that Ngannou wasn’t actually as good a striker as he was. Well, you can critique technique and look at their overall striking styles as much as you like, but when push came to shove – well, punch – Ngannou was more than good enough, as he stunned Dos Santos before finishing him in clinical, heavy-handed fashion.

PaddyPower.com’s MMA odds are a knock-out

It was all over in just 71 seconds, as Ngannou added the name of Dos Santos to his ever-growing list of first-round victims.

Each of Ngannou’s last SEVEN UFC wins have come in the first round. Anthony Hamilton was the first, and possibly the luckiest, because he was submitted with a Kimura. But for Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and now Dos Santos, it was knockouts and TKOs all the way as he has bludgeoned his way to the top of the heavyweight division.

Now the only logical next step for him is to face the winner of the upcoming heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic. If Miocic wins, the rematch angle with Ngannou (Miocic dominated a very green-looking Ngannou in their first meeting) would certainly make the matchup viable. But if D.C. wins, it’s more likely that Ngannou will have to sit and wait while Cormier moves on to face Jon Jones (most likely at light heavyweight) before retiring.

Ultimately, it means Ngannou’s next fight may well end up being against Miocic, regardless. And after he was so soundly beaten by the Ohio man first time around, you can bet he’ll be in the mood for revenge in the rematch.

As if facing Ngannou isn’t scary enough already…

‘JOEY TWO-TIMES’ CALLS HIS SHOT

It was a big night, too, for flyweight Joseph Benavidez, who has been campaigning at the top of the UFC’s 125-pound division throughout his career.

Benavidez stopped Jussier Formiga via second-round TKO to score a second stoppage win over the Brazilian contender and put himself in pole position to face reigning champ Henry Cejudo when the Olympic gold medallist returns to action after shoulder surgery.

Benavidez already holds a win over Cejudo on his record and said he wants to double up with another, just as he has with other victims during his career.

“They call me ‘Joey Two-Times,’” he said.

“I beat (Dustin) Ortiz two times, I beat Formiga two times. Next, beating Cejudo two times. Ton of respect for that guy. He’s calling out a lot of fights that don’t make sense. He knows I’m the hardest one out there, he knows I’m gonna coming after him every second. That’s the fight to make.

“I’ll be waiting, when he gets out of his surgery, I’ll be here.”

PaddyPower.com’s MMA odds are a knock-out

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