Last Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, Francis Ngannou reemerged as the top heavyweight contender, stopping Junior dos Santos with punches in just 71 seconds. But unlike many of Ngannou’s victories, dos Santos did not suffer a terribly violent end to the night. The former heavyweight champion was caught with his back turned and dropped by a clipping right hand where he turtled up until the referee intervened. After the fight, dos Santos appeared to be mostly fine, even attending the post-fight press conference, which led some to speculate that perhaps the fight had been stopped too early.
Not Joe Rogan.
Speaking with Joey Diaz on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan – who was not on the call on Saturday night – discussed Ngannou’s TKO victory saying it was absolutely correct to stop the bout.
“The scary thing is, he just clipped him, rocked him, put him down, pounded on his head, and Junior just couldn’t even move,” Rogan said. “He just laid there and took it and they stopped it quick. That was 100 percent legitimate.
“Junior had a good start where he was kicking the leg. He knocked him off balance and that can really f*ck you up, mess up your movement. If that was the case, if he was able to mess up his movement and get him to miss a little bit, get him so he was having a hard time moving correctly and keep chewing on that leg, then maybe there would be openings for [Junior] to jump in with punches. The problem is when they’re both on the outside, Francis is bigger and the consequences are way more grave. If Francis clips you, it’s nighty night, I don’t care who you are.”
Rogan has long been impressed by Ngannou’s ability to knock other men unconscious. The UFC commentator has repeatedly called Ngannou “the scariest guy I’ve ever seen” and he has a point. All nine of Ngannou’s UFC wins have come by stoppage, seven of them in the first round. His current three-fight win streak is even more impressive, having knocked out dos Santos, Curtis Blaydes, and Cain Velasquez in a combined 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Those wins, and the aura of destruction Ngannou is building up around him, Rogan says has made everyone afraid of fighting him.
“The first round with him is extremely dangerous because he’s just trying to take you the f*ck out,” Rogan said. “It takes a guy like Stipe. . . A guy like Stipe that has the mental fortitude to stick to a game plan, not panic in the firefight, because that’s what happens with Ngannou. You’re like, ‘Jesus Christ, I’m gonna see lights any second now. I’m gonna see a big flash and I’m gonna be out cold any second now it’s coming.’ You see the reaction they have to him. They fight different. They fight different with him than they do with anybody else because the consequences are so grave.
“Watch the way he knocked out Alistair Overeem. The consequences are so grave so everyone is scared. It’s normal. Everyone’s scared to fight, or at least there’s gonna be some anxiety or fear. Your heart rate’s gonna get jacked, your adrenaline’s gonna get pumping, but it’s even more so if the consequences are more grave. If you’re gonna take a skateboard down a small hill, you’re not freaking out. But if you’re gonna take a skateboard down. . . Sunshine Canyon, going 50 miles an hour, you’re gonna sh*t your f*cking pants. You’re gonna try to land this thing right, you’re gonna figure out how not to die here, because the consequences are so much graver. And that’s what happens to these guys when they fight Francis. The consequences are so grave the make mistakes. With Junior he reached for an overhand right. He really, really extended himself and you can’t do that with Francis.”
After his win on Saturday, Ngannou called for a title fight against the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic II. Given his recent resume, it’s hard to imagine he won’t get what he wants, even if Dana White isn’t ready to say so just yet.
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Nick Dalby in two tweets.
I am incredibly proud of the performance I made on Saturday. I battled through adversity & ended up being seconds away from finishing the fight. It was an honor & pleasure 2 fight in a main event I’m sure will go down in @CageWarriors history. Dalby v.2.0 is ready for @UFCEurope! pic.twitter.com/eviqPtUZUR
— Nicolas “Lokomotivo” Dalby (@DalbyMMA) July 1, 2019
Max and his Canadian fans.
… “10th island” started off as a joke but the way Canada treated me was never a joke and I love you Canadians for that. See many of you soon. July 27. Edmonton! #UFC240 https://t.co/pGXvolRrpJ
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) July 1, 2019
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I really wish the UFC has waited because I would much rather watch DC-Ngannou than an immediate rematch for a guy who got bolted in one round. That’s just me though.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Who wins this weekend?
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