Francis Ngannou might just be the scariest fighter in mixed martial arts history.
On Saturday night, the ferocious knockout artist lived up to his reputation once again, needing just 71 seconds to demolish former champion Junior dos Santos to notch his third-straight first-round knockout.
The end came after both heavyweights opened the fight with a series of leg kicks but once dos Santos got within Ngannou’s boxing range, it was over in a matter of seconds.
“Junior moves a lot so the goal was to slow him down, make him not move a lot and then strike,” Ngannou said after the win. “Of course it gives me some confidence but before that, I was already confident. Because Junior is a striker, he is a boxer and I believe I’m the best boxer in this division.”
Dos Santos said he was willing to throw hands with Ngannou and after landing a kick that buckled the legs of the giant Cameroonian, it appeared perhaps that strategy would work. It all backfired a few seconds later after Ngannou surged forward and begin unleashing his powerful punches.
He clubbed dos Santos with a sledgehammer like right hand that dropped the former champion down to the canvas and Ngannou followed him down to the ground to finish him. There might not be a more terrifying sight in the sport than Ngannou raining down punches on a defenseless opponent, which had referee Herb Dean rushing into stop the fight before dos Santos could take anymore damage.
With three straight knockouts — including wins over two former champions in dos Santos and Cain Velasquez — Ngannou is ready for another opportunity to win the heavyweight title.
“I think the only thing left is the winner of Stipe and D.C. I want the title shot back. I need some respect. Now I deserve it.”
Cormier and Miocic will battle it out for the heavyweight title in the UFC 241 main event in August and it’s hard to imagine the winner won’t have Ngannou staring back at them once that fight is finished.