Ngannou scores another first round win
In the main event of UFC Fight Night in Minneapolis, it took Francis Ngannou just over a minute to defeat former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
With the win, Ngannou improved to 9-2 and all of those wins have come inside the distance, eight of them by knockout or TKO and seven of them in the first round.
In a month, heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will defend his title against former champion Stipe Miocic and with another dominant victory, Ngannou left little doubt that he would be the next challenger.
Indications are that Cormier’s next fight could be his last at heavyweight, which means that a rematch with Miocic could be next for the heavyweight from Cameroon.
The loss is dos Santos’s first since he fell to Miocic in his last heavyweight championship opportunity at UFC 211 in May of 2017.
Ngannou has now accrued three victories in a row, all against ranked opponents, and he won those contests in a total of 2 minutes and 22 seconds combined.
Benavidez establishes himself as top contender
In a rematch to potentially determine the next flyweight title challenger, history repeated itself in a rematch between Joseph Benavidez and Jussier Formiga when Benavidez scored a TKO win over the division’s top contender.
While the UFC has been cutting down the flyweight division consistently over the past year, the co-main event at UFC Fight Night in Minneapolis has been referred to as a title eliminator and UFC President Dana White has been adamant that the division will continue to operate until he says otherwise.
In his post-fight speech, Benavidez outlined his intention to wait for flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo to heal so that he could challenge for the title.
Many agree that Benavidez is among the best UFC fighters to never hold a championship, mostly because of how dominant former champion Demetrious Johnson had been.
Benavidez is the last fighter to defeat Cejudo.
Attendance and Bonuses
UFC Fight Night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota drew 10,123 attendees for a $952,204.77 (USD) gate.
Performance of the Night bonuses went to Ngannou, Benavidez, Alonzo Menifield and Eryk Anders, all of whom earned KO or TKO victories in their respective bouts. All four athletes take home an additional $50,000 (USD)
Covington to face Lawler
The expectation in the minds of many was that former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington was the next challenger for current champion Kamaru Usman, but the promotion had other plans.
Before he is able to secure a title shot, Covington will have to face his former training partner and former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Newark, New Jersey on August 3.
Covington, who hasn’t fought since winning the interim title at UFC 225 last June in Chicago, holds a 9-1 UFC record.
Appearing as a guest on The TSN MMA Show, Covington mentioned that he will be earning the equivalent of championship pay for this matchup.
Green arrested, faces an array of criminal charges
UFC lightweight Desmond Green was involved in a traffic incident in Florida last August that resulted in the deaths of two individuals.
While the story was fairly public, no charges were laid and Green resumed his UFC career, going 2-1 since then, including his most recent win in May in front of friends and family in his hometown of Rochester.
Last week, Green was arrested, facing 20 charges relating to the incident including DUI manslaughter, DUI and serious bodily injury, possession of cocaine, marijuana possession, and a second offence of driving without a license.
Should he be convicted, it would likely result in a long prison sentence as DUI manslaughter charges in Florida have a four year mandatory minimum sentence.