A heavyweight collision between perennial division contenders Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou headlined tonight’s UFC Beijing event.
The bout served as a rematch, as Francis Ngannou had previously defeated Curtis Blaydes via second-round TKO (doctors stoppage) at UFC Fight Night 86 in April of 2016.
Curtis Blaydes entered tonight’s headliner on a five-fight win streak, his latest being a third-round TKO victory over Alistair Overeem at UFC 225.
Meanwhile, Francis Ngannou came in to tonight’s contest looking to rebound, this having lost his past two bouts. In his most recent outing at UFC 226, “The Predator” was outpointed by Derrick Lewis in what could politely be called an uneventful contest.
Prior to the setbacks, Francis Ngannou had put together an impressive ten-fight win streak, which included stoppage victories over Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.
Tonight’s UFC Beijing main event started and then ended just seconds later. “The Predator” was able to land a huge overhand right that sent Curtis Blaydes crashing to the canvas. Blaydes would eventually scramble back up to his feet only to be sent back down to the canvas by another big punch from Ngannou. After a couple more strikes, the referee stepped in and called a stop to the action.
Check out how the pros reacted to Francis Ngannou stopping Curtis Blaydes in tonight’s UFC Beijing main event.
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) November 24, 2018
Francis Ngannou def Curtis Blaydes via TKO (Punches) at 0:25 of round one#UFCBeijing
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) November 24, 2018
Wow. Ngannou stops Blaydes in what felt like 3 seconds. #UFCBeijing
— Katrina Mahoney (@katrinajmahoney) November 24, 2018
After all the scrutiny this year, can’t imagine how good Ngannou must feel right now.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 24, 2018
Seems Bruce Buffer was mistaken on the official time of the stoppage. It was 45 seconds for Ngannou's win, not 25. #UFCBeijing
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) November 24, 2018
Francis Ngannou finishes Curtis Blaydes via TKO in the first round in China. He told me earlier in the week he thought his confidence was back after a long year, but it probably wouldn’t be completely back until he got a win again. A 44-second KO should do. pic.twitter.com/6vC9AYAxWS
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 24, 2018
Francis Ngannou drops Curtis Blaydes with a monstrous punch and just continued to blast away until Marc Goddard stopped it.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) November 24, 2018
What a return to form for Francis Ngannou! The French-Cameroonian (12-3) topples Curtis Blaydes once again, this time with an emphatic first-round stoppage! Here's the full fight. #UFCBeijing pic.twitter.com/XWBey4t6eW
— Tanuki Usman (@Hamderlei) November 24, 2018
Who would you like to see Francis Ngannou fight in his next octagon appearance following his 44-second destruction of Curtis Blaydes at UFC Beijing? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!