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And Then There Were None

Photo: Combat Sports NG

The era of the Three Kings will go down as a watershed moment in MMA history. Three of the most notable champions in the UFC were from Africa. The Predator, Francis Ngannou from Cameroon.  Francis put his  life on the line multiple times to make it to Paris. He was homeless yet became UFC Heavyweight Champion.  After knocking out Stipe Miocic, arguably the greatest UFC Heavyweight Champion in history, Francis fulfilled his contract besting former teammate Cyril Gane. Signing with the PFL, Francis left the UFC and is now training to face Tyson Fury in his debut boxing match.

Kamaru Usman, born in Nigeria, entered the UFC as a TUF winner arguably will go down as one of the top 5 Welterweights in UFC history after defeating Tyron Woodley for the title. He went on to defend it five times before losing to Leon Edwards at UFC 278.

The Last Style-bender Israel Adesanya took the world by storm winning the undisputed championship by destroying Robert Whittaker.  Losing to Jan Blacowich at 205 and being knocked out by Alex Pereria, Izzy came back, avenged the loss and becoming the first 2X UFC Middleweight Champion.  He was the last of the three kings with a title, until UFC 293.

The main event was a tactical showdown between Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya. Strickland started strong in the first round, landing a right that dropped Adesanya, followed by a flurry of hooks. It was a clear 10-9 for Strickland.

Photo: UFC

The second round was more evenly matched, with both fighters looking to gain an edge. Adesanya tried to set up his overhand right, connecting once but unable to capitalize. It was a close round, leaving the fight tied at one apiece.

The third round was a tough one to call. Adesanya was on the offensive but left himself open for counters, almost getting caught multiple times. It was a nail-biting round, in the end the edge went to Strickland. 2-1


Strickland continued to impress in the fourth round, landing a jab and a hook in the first minute. He maintained a defensive posture and hit with authority, taking a 3-1 lead.

The fifth and final round saw Strickland land cleaner shots, and he even goaded Adesanya to engage in the closing seconds. It was a stellar performance by Strickland, earning him the victory and the new title.

In the end, UFC Oceana's main card delivered thrilling moments, unforgettable knockouts, and a new champion. It was a night of fast paced action. A night, that if Izzy does not become the first 3X Champion in one weight class, may have marked the end of an era.

Photo: UFC


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