Not only did UFC 260 see a new UFC Heavyweight champion crowned, but plenty of other fighters also picked up key wins as well.
With this in mind, here are the five biggest winners from UFC 260: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou II.
#1 Francis Ngannou – defeated Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title
Naturally, the night’s biggest winner was Francis Ngannou.
The Predator knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round of the main event to claim the UFC Heavyweight title, becoming the promotion’s third African champion in the process.
The most impressive thing for Ngannou was the fact that, unlike in his fights with Cain Velasquez and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, he didn’t take Miocic out in his first rush.
He showed patience, precision, and even some nice takedown defense in this fight to avoid a big attempt by Miocic to get the fight to the ground.
Most fans were asking questions about Ngannou’s wrestling game coming into this rematch, but for the most part, he did answer them. There aren’t many other Heavyweights in the UFC capable of taking him down, after all.
Who’s next for Ngannou? The big dream for everyone – the UFC included – would be Jon Jones. Whether the promotion can get that fight done in 2021 is a question mark, but regardless, Ngannou is now a champion. And it’s hard to imagine him being dethroned any time soon.
#2 Sean O’Malley – defeated Thomas Almeida
O’Malley dropped Almeida in the first round with a vicious head kick and right hand but chose to try for a walk-off knockout rather than seal the deal.
But referee Mark Smith let the fight go on, and Almeida miraculously recovered, and from there, it didn’t look like O’Malley would be able to put him away.
But The Sugar Show kept plugging away. And after completely outstriking Almeida, he dropped him again in the third round. O'Malley then finished him off with a violent right hand on the ground.
O’Malley’s somewhat arrogant ways might not endear him to all UFC fans, but it’s clear that he’s got the charisma to be a big star for the promotion.
And so we should expect them to push him hard – perhaps into contention for the UFC Bantamweight title – in his next fight.
#3 Vicente Luque – defeated Tyron Woodley
There’s no more proven path into title contention in the world of the UFC than defeating a former UFC champion.
The fight was wildly exciting, as Woodley hurt Luque before the Brazilian fired back and basically knocked him out with a barrage of punches.
Somehow, Woodley – who looked out on his feet – didn’t go down initially. But once he did, Luque closed out the fight with what was a beautiful choke.
This was the first time that Woodley had ever been finished by submission in the UFC and kept Luque’s finishing rate at an insane clip – with 12 of his 13 UFC wins not reaching the final buzzer.
UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is set to face Jorge Masvidal next, but if he gets by Gamebred, it’ll be hard to deny Luque a title shot – making him one of UFC 260’s biggest winners by far.
#4 Miranda Maverick – defeated Gillian Robertson
The UFC’s Women’s Flyweight division is a strange place in that a fighter can get a title shot with only a handful of wins, thanks to the way that champion Valentina Shevchenko quickly dispatches challengers.
That means that Miranda Maverick – who defeated Gillian Robertson last night – is definitely one of UFC 260’s biggest winners.
Maverick moved to 2-0 in the UFC with the win, and with an impressive record of 9-2, it’s definitely conceivable that she could be just one or two fights away from a shot at Shevchenko.
Judging by last night, she’ll need to improve massively to stand a chance against The Bullet.
Maverick looked strong in all areas but needs to clean up her striking game a little and tighten up her ground game as well.
But this prospect is definitely a fighter to watch, and at just 23 years old, her best years are definitely ahead of her.
And a win like last night’s against Robertson gives her a great platform to begin to work from.
#5 Jamie Mullarkey – defeated Khama Worthy – and Alonzo Menifield – defeated Fabio Cherant
With the UFC in spring cleaning mode as of late, both Jamie Mullarkey and Alonzo Menifield probably had reason to be nervous coming into UFC 260.
Both men had lost two fights in a row coming into last night. And while Menifield was once considered a top prospect at 205lbs, in 2021, you simply can’t afford to lose three in a row if you want to remain in the UFC.
However, both men displayed excellent skills to beat Khama Worthy and Fabio Cherant, respectively.
Mullarkey knocked out Worthy in the first round, showing improved striking and vicious power.
And Menifield unleashed a previously unseen grappling game to dispatch Cherant with the once-rare Von Flue choke, also in the first round.
Neither man managed to claim a $50k bonus for their efforts, but they probably won’t mind this morning as their UFC careers are almost definitely set to continue thanks to their wins.
And in the unsure post-COVID-19 climate, that makes them two of UFC 260’s biggest winners.