Francis Ngannou, who made his way back to the top by knocking out four top heavyweight contenders within a minute or two of every fight, sealed the most important victory of his career as he dropped Stipe Miocic with a brutal left hook within the first minute of the second round.
Another big right landed on a near-unconscious Stipe Miocic before the referee's intervention crowned Francis Ngannou as the new undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. The victory also made 'The Predator' only the third African-born fighter to hold a UFC title, along with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and middleweight king Israel Adesanya.
Despite the staggering loss, Stipe Miocic not only managed to last longer than all of Francis Ngannou's last four opponents combined, but also landed one more significant strike than them.
However, Stipe Miocic admittedly made some mistakes, which cost him the fight as well as the UFC heavyweight title in the bout.
Stipe Miocic points out what he did wrong at UFC 260
In a lengthy Instagram post two days after the fight, Stipe Miocic gave his statement on the defeat. In a message that was both emotional and inspirational, Stipe Miocic started off by acknowledging that it was not his "most graceful fall" as he was unconscious, followed by thanking his friends, family, and his hometowns.
He went on to apologize for the loss to his fans and thank his team for sticking by him in victory or defeat.
As for the nature of the defeat, Stipe Miocic admitted that he diverged from the game plan him and his team agreed upon, and got "overzealous" in the second round, which allowed Francis Ngannou to capitalize and clinch the victory. He gave credit where it was due and congratulated the new champion on the win as well.
Stipe Miocic wrote:
"First and foremost, I’m ok. I know that fall wasn’t my most graceful fall, but I was unconscious, so it happens 😂
"To my family friends and fans, especially Croatia & Cleveland..
"I love you and I’m sorry. I hate letting you down. To my team, thank you. I know you feel every loss just as much as I do. We win as a family, we lose as a family. Losses aren’t fun, they always sting for a while, but that’s the beast of this business. You can’t win them all, and it’s important to understand that losing is just as much a part of sports (and life) as winning. Don’t ever forget God will always put you where you’re meant to be at that exact moment. You can’t dwell on what you should have done better, but you can learn and improve from it and come back more prepared next time.
"Unfortunately, I deviated from game plan. I felt great coming into the second round, I saw it was beginning to go as planned. He was getting very winded, and I came in over zealous and unprotected. I wasn’t in a good posture to take the hit. He saw the opening, and did what any great fighter would have done.
"That was my error that I accept, it wont happen again. Lastly, I’d like to congratulate @francisngannou and his team on a well earned victory. Saturday night was your night, enjoy your victory! For now, I’m going to enjoy the down time, spend some time with my family, and welcome our son into the world this summer... stay tuned, God bless."