Francis Ngannou stops Junior dos Santos to reclaim his place as UFC heavyweight title contender

We all know about Cameroonian-born French heavyweight Francis Ngannou’s punching power. Yet, it never ceases to amaze when “The Predator” lands shots on his fellow revered heavyweights.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is the latest man to fall foul of Ngannou’s punching prowess, succumbing to a TKO loss in just 71 seconds.

The pair traded jabs and power leg kicks in the earliest of early exchanges. “Cigano” looked wise to Ngannou’s advances, seeking to circle away from Ngannou’s power shots with a hint of desperation.

However, JDS’ gameplan was quickly undone as soon as he threw a wayward overhand right.

With his back turned to the advancing Ngannou, dos Santos was felled with a big blindsiding right hook.

Ngannou followed dos Santos down to the canvas and finished off the job as Cigano was unable to defend the ground assault.

Another big win for Ngannou, his third in a row since his two-fight losing skid to then-champion Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis.

Since then, Ngannou has put away Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez and now dos Santos all by first-round knockout.

Ngannou is surely back in the UFC heavyweight title picture and will face either champion Daniel Cormier or Miocic depending on the result of their upcoming contest.


Joseph Benavidez cements position as the challenger to Henry Cejudo’s flyweight crown

Joseph Benavidez reasserted his place as the best flyweight out there to not have won a UFC title on Saturday night.

Benavidez scored a second-round stoppage against streaking Brazilian Jussier Formiga, stopping his rival’s run of four straight victories.

The fight was a rematch after Benavidez won their first duel and the duo looked evenly-matched in the early going.

Formiga and Benavidez traded punches but the latter’s crushing calf kicks seemed to hinder the Brazilian’s movement.

A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace, Formiga seemed to have got Benavidez in some serious situations in the fight’s two rounds, taking the Team Alpha Male product’s back and getting him to the ground. But Benavidez had an answer for everything and expertly scrambled his way out of danger when needed.

The finish came late in the second stanza as Benavidez slammed his shin into Formiga’s dome.

Formiga’s chin somehow held up enough to allow himself to stay standing, but Benavidez re-framed his attack and knocked Formiga down with a flurry of punches.

Unable to defend himself on all fours, underrated referee Jason Herzog rightly called a stop the fight.

Impressive win for Benavidez, who eagerly wants another crack at champion Henry Cejudo having already taken a split decision win over his rival.


Demian Maia takes majority decision win over Anthony Rocco Martin

The grappling pressure decorated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu artiste Demain Maia puts on his opponents is something to behold and Anthony Rocco Martin is the latest man to go through the ordeal.

For the first two rounds, Maia showed off some well-timed takedowns and his suffocating top control for what was essentially 10 minutes of frustration for American Top Team’s Martin.

However, the American had some success in the final round.

Martin clipped Maia with an overhand right which briefly wobbled the Brazilian, who was then faced with a follow-up uppercut.

But as Martin rallied to finish the fight and avoid losing a decision, Maia resumed control once again by wrapping his opponent up in his full guard to see out the fight.

Maia took a majority decision victory in a solid if unspectacular Octagon outing, boosting his winning run to two following three consecutive defeats.

Meanwhile, Martin’s loss sees his four-fight win streak come to an end.


UFC on ESPN 3: Francis Ngannou vs. Junior dos Santos full results

Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (punches) at 1:11 of round one
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez def. Jussier Formiga by TKO (head kick and punches) at 4:47 of round two
Welterweight: Demian Maia def. Anthony Rocco Martin by majority decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Vinc Pichel def. Roosevelt Roberts by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Drew Dober def. Marco Polo Reyes by TKO (punches) at 1:07 of round one
Light Heavyweight: Alonzo Menifield def. Paul Craig by KO (punches) at 3:19 of round one
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos def. Journey Newson by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Eryk Anders def. Vinicius Moreira via KO (punches) at 1:18 of round one
Lightweight: Jared Gordon def. Dan Moret by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Dalcha Lungiambula def. Dequan Townsend by TKO (punches and elbows) at 0:42 of round three
Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Ribas def. Emily Whitmire by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:10 of round two
Heavyweight: Maurice Greene def. Junior Albini by TKO (punches) at 3:38 of round one