The co-main event at UFC 218 featured two of the top heavyweight on the planet when polished striker Alistair Overeem took on Cameroonian powerhouse Francis Ngannou at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on December 2.
This was the heavyweight bout fans have been waiting for, between a technical striker who is coming to the end of his storied career and seeks the belt and a violent up-and-comer with the strongest recorded punches in the world.
This bout was over before it started. Overeem held the clinch for a few seconds, but after being split up by the referee, Francis Ngannou landed a devastating single punch to knock the number one contender out cold.
UFC president Dana White announced beforehand that the winner of this bout would be next in light for a heavyweight title shot.
Despite Ngannou extraordinary performance at UFC 218, Ngannou was not awarded a “Performance of the Night” bonus.
White mentioned at the UFC 218 post-fight press conference that he will be awarding Francis Ngannou with an unofficial bonus.
“Trust me, Francis lives at the Performance Institute, and I don’t need him knocking on my (expletive) door looking for his bonus,” White quipped when asked by MMAjunkie. “We’ll get him situated.”
“That’s a good thing,” Ngannou said of his unofficial bonus. “I do need that money. I moved from Paris to Vegas, so that took a lot of money. I need some money now. And I was out for 10 months.
“And to be honest, every one of you guys loves money too.”
With this win, Ngannou is roped in line to fight Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title.
“I’ll probably also go to Paris for a while and do some of my training camp there. I’ll go to Cameroon and visit my family and keep helping them too,” Ngannou said who also has plans of opening a gym for the kids in his native country.
“First of all, I want to be the first African to have a UFC belt,” he said. “I want to be the one to open the UFC in Africa, basically in Cameroon. I want Cameroon to be the first country in Africa to (host) the UFC. It’d be good. It’d be honor for me.”
Ngannou further added:
“The biggest win of my career is coming,” he said.