The co-main event at UFC 218 featured two of the top heavyweight on the planet when decorated striker Alistair Overeem took on Cameroonian powerhouse Francis Ngannou.
This was the heavyweight fight fans have been waiting for, between a technical striker who is coming to the end of his storied career and seeks the belt and a ferocious up-and-comer with the strongest recorded punches in the world.
As if the pair weren’t already motivated enough, UFC president Dana White announced beforehand that the winner of this bout would be next in light for a heavyweight title shot.
“Whoever wins is going to fight Stipe,” White told reporters.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) December 3, 2017
Although Miocic has been off with an injury for some time, White insisted that the champ was back to full fitness and would be ready to take on the winner of Overeem vs Ngannou winner, likely early next year.
“We get sh*t done,” White said. “We always figure it out. We’re in a good place.”
While for many fighters, the lure of fame, glory, and riches are key motivations, Ngannou said that his drive comes from a sense of duty to his family and the need to give them a better upbringing than he had was key.
“I think the main thing is motivation,” Ngannou said beforehand. “My strength, my power, it’s all about my mind. When I look back where I’m from, look at my family, it’s kind of scary. I want to change things back. I don’t want my kids or my son to live the same thing I lived in my life. That is motivation.”
The bookmakers favoured the Cameroonian to get it done and installed him as a favourite at $1.43 while Overeem was an outsider at $2.80.
This fight was over before it started. Overeem held the clinch for a few moments, but after being split up by the referee, Ngannou landed a devastating single punch to knock the number one contender out cold.
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