Last night, the UFC returned to beautiful Denver, Colorado with UFC on Fox 23, a 12-fight card highlighted by some epic finishes and significant upsets. One of the most memorable moments of the event took place on the main card, when rising prospect Francis Ngannou took on former champion Andrei Arlovski in a compelling heavyweight showdown. Despite Arlovski’s massive experiential edge, Ngannou did as many expected, laying waste to his legendary opponent with the frightening finesse of an assassin.
The French-Cameroonian prospect’s thunderous knockout win occurred at the 1:32 mark of the very first round. With this win, he moved to 5-0 in the UFC. Having scored stoppages in all of these wins, knocking out Luis Henrique, Curtis Blaydes, Bojan Mihajlovic, and Arlovski, and submitting Anthony Hamilton, he’s now the owner of the UFC’s longest active finish streak, at 5. With an overall record of 10-1, he’s undeniably the hottest prospect in the heavyweight division.
Arlovski, meanwhile, has fallen on tough times. Though entered 2016 as one of the division’s top contenders, he enters 2017 on an unfortunate 4-fight losing streak. In his four most recent bouts, he’s been knocked out by Stipe Miocic, knocked out by Alistair Overeem, submitted by Josh Barnett, and now, knocked out by Ngannou. Given this skid, it is the opinion of many fans and pundits that the time has come for the Belarusian monster to hang up the gloves. His overall record now sits at 25-14.
Here’s how the MMA community reacted to Ngannou’s thudding knockout of Andrei Arlovski, and the clear changing of the guard it symbolized:
Arlovski looks scared of that power!
— Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) January 29, 2017
Fighters – have an exit strategy. Make your money and get out. Don't spend your last few fights making the next generation's highlight reel.
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 29, 2017
— Arnold billy allen (@Arnoldbfa) January 29, 2017
Ngannou is a beast
— Robert Whiteford (@Flyinjudoka) January 29, 2017
Shit is over!!! Freakin Ngannou !
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 29, 2017
— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) January 29, 2017
Needless to say, Francis Ngannou’s emphatic stoppage of Andrei Arlovski impressed the hell out of many of his fellow fighters. Were you impressed by his showing in Denver? Who do you want to see him fight next? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/29/2017.