A Heavyweight Championship fight always makes for a fun night. That’s exactly what we got in the main event of UFC 260 tonight. The young stars up and down this card really proved their talent tonight, picking up some hugely impressive wins. And of course, the main event gave us some serious fireworks that resulted in a new heavyweight champ being crowned.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the night and break down the three fights we looked at in our UFC 260 preview.
The night opened up with an impressive TKO victory for Marc-Andre Barriault over Abu Azaitar with just four seconds left in the fight. Azaitar wasn’t happy with the fact that the fight was called, but he was clearly in some serious trouble. This was a big win in the middleweight division for the 31-year-old.
Michal Oleksiejczuk got his hand raised after going the distance with Modestas Bukauskus in a light heavyweight bout. It was a close fight and neither guy seemed to be comfortable leaving it up to the judges as they were trading some big punches in the closing seconds.
It didn’t take long for Alonzo Menifield to pick up a submission victory over Fabio Cherant in the light heavyweight division. Menifield locked up a Von Flue choke in just 1:11, forcing his opponent to tap. It’s not a submission we see often, but it is effective when it’s used correctly.
— UFC (@ufc) March 28, 2021
Main Card Highlights
Jamie Mullarkey made short work of Khama Worthy, finishing his opponent with a devastating left hook. The slow-motion replay showed the technique on display here from Mullarkey, who fainted with a right and then nailed his opponent with the left. It was a beautiful shot and an explosive start to the pay-per-view. Mullarkey picked up a very impressive win in the lightweight division and will be looking for a big fight his next time out.
It was a great clash of styles between Miranda Maverick and Gillian Robertson. Maverick showcased her her striking in the first while Robertson controlled the second with her grappling. Eventually though, Maverick managed to outlast her opponent and even got the better of Robertson on the ground in the third. That’s a scary prospect for the rest of the women’s flyweight division because Maverick’s hands looked world-class. If she can become dominant on the ground as well, the 23-year-old is setup for a brilliant career.
Sean O’Malley def. Thomas Almeida
Every now and then you see a young fighter who is a really special talent with a truly unique style that makes for a fun fight each and every time out. That is Sean O’Malley to a tee. This kid is definitely something special and he showed it here. He outclassed Thomas Almeida on the feet and almost scored a walk-off knockout in the first. Only problem was, Almeida wasn’t out. He was somehow able to survive a devastating headkick and kept the fight going for about another 10 minutes. For a while it seemed as though he might make O’Malley pay for not jumping in and finishing the fight when he had the chance. Eventually though. O’Malley’s talent was just too much and he dropped Almeida again in the third. He almost made the same mistake a second time and started to walk off again. This time though, he turned around and dropped one more bomb that put Almeida out for good. It was an incredibly impressive performance for a very talented young fighter.
My pick: O’Malley via 3rd round knockout
Result: O’Malley via 3rd round knockout
Vicente Luque def. Tyron Woodley
Another young star got a huge victory here. Woodley came out far more aggressive than he has in his recent bouts, going right to the grappling and pushing Luque up against the cage. After a break, he landed some big punches and really hurt Luque. The young fighter was able to maintain his composure though and eventually landed some big counter punches of his own, dropping Woodley. The two were both clearly in danger and yet continued to wing punches at each other, with both men landing several big shots. Woodley was clearly the more wobbly of the two though as Luque was throwing the much cleaner punches. After dropping him again, Luque pounced on Woodley and locked in a D’arce choke. After a few seconds of defending, the former champ was forced to tap. After the fight, Luque called out Nate Diaz. Talk about a fight for the fans.
My pick: Luque via decision
Result: Luque via 1st round submission
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou
The energy in the UFC Apex arena was incredible for this huge main event, as the commentary team said numerous times. This was the greatest heavyweight of all-time against the most dangerous challenger of all-time. And right off the bat, we could see that Ngannou was even more dangerous than ever before. The Challenger showed incredible patience, landing a few big shots in the first round but maintaining his composure rather than leaping in and gassing himself out. He even managed to stuff a takedown attempt from Miocic, which is a truly scary concept for all future opponents.
Miocic never got into his offense in the first round and tried to be a bit more aggressive in the second. While the champ had some success with his punches, if you try to trade punches with Ngannou, you’re going to end up on your back. That’s exactly what happened as the challenger clipped Miocic with a left and followed up with another one seconds later that ended the fight and put the belt around his waist.
It was an incredible performance from the new champ. His patience, his improved grappling and of course his incredibly dangerous hands make him one of, if not the most intimidating fighters the UFC’s heavyweight division has ever seen. Even in his post-fight interview, Ngannou was very calm. It was just a brand new demeanor from the new champ and it makes him scarier than ever. Daniel Cormier brought up the idea of his next opponent being Jon Jones, for a main event that could pack any arena in the world.
My pick: Ngannou via 2nd round knockout
Result: Ngannou via 2nd round knockout
— UFC (@ufc) March 28, 2021
The UFC will return to ESPN+ on Saturday, April 10 for UFC Fight Night: Till vs. Vettori. Be sure to check back for a preview of the event.
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”