Over the weekend, we acquired a new Heavyweight Champion in the Predator, Francis Ngannou! UFC 260 was a marvelous card filled with many impressive finishes from Marc-Andre Barriault, Alonzo Menifield, and more! However, there were some stoppages that stood out to me the most because of the importance behind each win. Read along with me to reminisce on these remarkable fights.
UFC Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida – Main Card
The first fight I’d love to think back upon would be the UFC Bantamweight matchup between “Suga” Sean O’Malley and Thomas Almeida (22-5-0). Coming into this fight, O’Malley had heavily juiced UFC Odds at -325, and Almeida the underdog at +250.
For my UFC Pick, I had Sean O’Malley to win inside the distance with odds at -115 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review), so you could only imagine how eager I was for O’Malley to throw one of his ‘walk-off-knockout-power-punches’. Well, to start off, O’Malley was active right from the jump — I also forgot how much speed he has too. He began this fight kickboxing and kept Almeida at range with his long limbs. Halfway through round one, Almeida returned a leg kick and O’Malley countered beautifully, dropping Almeida. O’Malley then walked away but the fight was still on because Referee Mark Smith never stopped the fight! Almeida got back up and the two mixed martial artists exchanged shot after shot until the end of the round.
You could imagine at this point in the fight, I was very frustrated. O’Malley would have gotten that first round knockout if he just followed through. Anyway, round two came along and O’Malley was definitely running the show — we all know he had something to prove on Saturday night. Almeida picked up the pace a bit in this round and threw many leg kicks to try and weaken O’Malley, similar to what Marlon Vera did. However, no matter what Almeida did, O’Malley always had a sharp counter.
Let’s fast forward to the third round. Once this round started, I was still hoping for the early finish or else I would lose my bet. I was worried because O’Malley did seem to slow down his pace — he seemed tired. But with a little over a minute left in the third round, BAM! O’Malley landed a beautiful left to drop Almeida. He tries to walk off again, but Referee Mark Smith doesn’t stop the fight — again! So, O’Malley just turns around and pounds Almeida with another right to finish the job.
Sean O’Malley (13-1-0) managed to redeem himself after his brutal loss to Marlon Vera back in August 2020. However, this is the real question: is Sean O’Malley still undefeated like how he promotes himself to be? A loss is a loss, just as much as a win is a win. I’m just happy to see Sean O’Malley redeem himself, and also help me win my bet!
UFC Welterweight: Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque – Co-Main
The next fight to recall upon is the co-main event with UFC Welterweights: Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque; and this was a quick fight. Quick in the sense of not only a first round finish, but everything just happened so fast!
With his UFC career on the line, Woodley started the fight on a quick and powerful note — he knew the power behind Luque’s punches and was definitely aiming for an early finish. Woodley was doing the most to gain control of Luque; he put Luque up against the cage and worked him in the clinch, but could not get the takedown.
I’m sure we all expected a heavy boxing match before someone got knocked out — I’m sure Luque expected it too. But, Luque adjusted in the clinch, gained control, and put a tremendous amount of pressure on Woodley. Although Woodley does manage to escape and throw the heat to regain himself, Luque got him back in the clinch. But this time, Woodley swung and cracked Luque! It was a power fight with shot after shot thrown.
This is where Woodley messed up; he panicked and shot for the takedown, but Luque maneuvered into a d’arce choke and tapped Woodley out with 3 minutes and 56 seconds into round one. Unfortunately, this was a very important fight for Tyron Woodley (19-7-0). He is now on a 4-fight losing streak against Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, and now Vicente Luque. We don’t know the likes of Woodley’s future in the UFC, but we do know that Vicente Luque (20-7-1) is a rising prospect and will make a name for himself in the UFC Welterweight division. Entering this fight on Saturday night, Vicente Luque had UFC Odds at -240, and Tyron Woodley at +190.
UFC Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou – Main Event
The last remarkable fight to talk about is definitely the UFC Heavyweight main event, Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou. I wished there was a way to have both of these men win! They’re both so breathtaking in the way they fight, while also being such genuine human beings.
For my UFC Pick, I had Stipe Miocic +118 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review). At the start of this fight, both Miocic and Ngannou were extremely patient. Ngannou saw his first opening and landed a nice low kick. However, this is where I went “oh crap, my bet is lost”. Miocic shot for the takedown and without hesitation, Ngannou sprawled, swung to the back of Stipe, and was throwing shot after shot! Miocic definitely ate those powerful punches while making his way back to his feet.
The amount of times Stipe Miocic (20-4-0) ate a nasty Ngannou punch actually amazes me. He really proved how much his chin can take on Saturday night. At the end of the first, Ngannou seemed to already be tired, so that gave us Miocic bettors a little bit of hope. But right when we started to get our hope back, it was immediately stripped from us.
Round two comes along and Miocic was definitely more active. With a blink of an eye, Ngannou connected and stumbled Miocic! Miocic did the most to stay on his feet and regain himself, but you could tell he was in trouble. Ngannou finally landed a hefty left hook, dropped Miocic, and followed up with a pound leaving Miocic unconscious. We have a well-deserved, new Heavyweight Champion in Francis Ngannou!! Although I lost my bet, I could not have been happier for the Predator — it was a well deserved victory. Entering this fight on Saturday night, Francis Ngannou had UFC Odds at -140, and Stipe Miocic at +115. Francis Ngannou (16-3-0) is set on fighting Jon Jones next, however there has been drama between Jones and the UFC — as seen all over social media. Francis Ngannous’ future is incredibly bright! So despite who he fights next, he will have a great adventure as the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Closing Remarks and What’s Next?
Although I spoke about three fights in particular, there were many other fights that definitely deserve some recognition. If you weren’t able to watch the fights on Saturday night, then you should definitely go back at watch! Be sure to check out Alonzo Menifield with a first round submission, Jamie Mullarkey with a first round T/KO, and Miranda Maverick with a decision win over Gillian Robertson. Also, for a little fun fact, Jamie Mullarkey (UFC Odds +105) was the only dog on the card that won!
After UFC 260, we had a week off to regain our nerves and to also give the other MMA Associations some love. But coming up next in the UFC, we have UFC Fight Night: Darren Till vs. Marvin Vettori on Saturday, April 10th. This should be a very entertaining event; we will see back in the octagon Hunter Azure, Yorgan de Castro, Jim Miller, Mike Perry, and many more! To make sure you make the best bets for each and every fight night, be sure to check out my Picks and Predictions show with David Manyun and Matt Ryan on SBR’s Youtube page.