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Francis Ngannou knocks out Stipe Miocic to become UFC Heavyweight Champion, who’s next?

The Cameroonian is now at the top of the heap in MMA. Here’s how he did it, and who his next opponent could be.

Francis Ngannou of Cameroon punches Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

With a thundering left hand in the middle of the octagon, Francis Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight championship from Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Ngannou moves to 16-3 career as an MMA fighter, and with his fifth-straight knockout he also avenged one of those three losses. He becomes the king of the hill in MMA at the age of 34, but with plenty of quality fights left in front of him.

It’s likely a rematch with Miocic could be on the table soon, which would make the Croatian part of two unforgettable trilogies: He just beat Daniel Cormier in August of 2020 to take the final two of three from the first double-weight-class champion in UFC history.

But who might Ngannou’s face next? The best to ever do it in Jon Jones made it clear he’d be interested in a fight.

UFC President Dana White seems less enamored with the idea.

Jones retorted quickly:

Other potential opponents include... Derrick Lewis?? Ranked No. 2 at 265 lbs., he’s won four in a row and is one of the three fighters to have beaten Ngannou in his career. But otherwise the list of potential contenders to the newly-inherited throne seems pretty short.

Who will get the next shot at the new champion? We’ll have to wait and see.