Ngannou routs dos Santos in first-round TKO

Three:15 AM ET

Marc RaimondiESPN

Junior dos Santos was the polished boxer, the previous UFC heavyweight champion. He had the pedigree. However Francis Ngannou had the uncooked punching energy. Ultimately, that is all that mattered.

Ngannou crushed dos Santos with a mix of looping, crushing punches early on — a proper hook adopted by a left and one other proper for good measure. Dos Santos crumpled to the mat, and referee Herb Dean stepped in to cease it at 1:11 of the primary spherical and rule it a TKO end for Ngannou in the principle occasion of UFC Minneapolis on Saturday at Goal Middle.

Ngannou referred to as for a heavyweight title shot subsequent, saying he ought to face the winner of August’s Daniel Cormier versus Stipe Miocic championship bout. Ngannou has gained three straight, all by first-round knockout.

“I hope the UFC realizes I deserve the title shot proper now,” Ngannou stated.

Ngannou (14-Three) has essentially the most UFC finishes within the heavyweight division since 2015, with 9. The Cameroon native, by means of France, has seven wins inside two minutes, fourth-most in UFC historical past. Ngannou, 32, has gained 10 of his 14 profession victories by KO/TKO. For his half, dos Santos had by no means been completed inside the first two minutes of a battle.

That is the third straight battle that Ngannou has gained inside 1:11. Ngannou fought as soon as for the title earlier than, a unanimous determination loss to Miocic at UFC 220 in January 2018.

Dos Santos (21-6) had gained three straight coming in, the earlier two by TKO. The Brazilian slugger has fought in 5 UFC title fights and will have been in a sixth had he overwhelmed Ngannou. Dos Santos, 35, has been among the finest heavyweights of his period. He held the title in 2011 and 2012.

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Cormier will defend his UFC heavyweight title in opposition to Miocic, the previous champion, in the principle occasion of UFC 241 on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, California.

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