The Predator earned the biggest win of his career to date on Saturday night. Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic to finally claim the heavyweight crown three years after falling to a decision loss against Miocic in their first fight.
Francis Ngannou is in the conversation as one of the best fighters on the planet and looks set to face Jon Jones at some point in the future.
Speaking of Jon Jones, the light heavyweight GOAT has maintained his place at the top of the men’s pound-for-pound rankings, with Ngannou now coming in four spots below him.
The rise of Francis Ngannou in the UFC
Ngannou's latest ranking serves as a big boost, with the Cameroonian fighter coming all the way up from 13th spot. As a result of Stipe’s defeat, he has now dropped down to seventh, with many wondering if he’ll ever fight again.
That seems like a bit of an overstatement, but if Miocic ends up taking part in a trilogy fight against Ngannou, that poses all kinds of problems for the former.
Francis Ngannou, on the other hand, is on cloud nine right now. He’s finally becoming the marketing machine that the UFC always wanted him to be, dating back to when he first managed to rise up through the ranks.
There’s absolutely no guarantee that Ngannou will hold onto the belt beyond his upcoming test against Jones if the fight between them comes to fruition. But the sky really is the limit for the reigning heavyweight champion.
Ngannou and the UFC may even decide to go in the direction of a fight against Derrick Lewis which, in itself, tells you how wide open things are at the moment.
Alexander Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya have both also shifted up one spot in the rankings, courtesy of Miocic dropping down, with Kamaru Usman positioned firmly in second.
However, if Jones continues to stay inactive and Usman can beat Jorge Masvidal for the second time next month, there’s a serious case to be made that he should be bumped up to number one.
If it happens, that will mark quite the shift for the UFC.