If we ask people who they rank as the most powerful puncher in UFC history, majority of those lists will probably put Francis Ngannou at the top. There are a lot of heavy-hitters through out UFC history but no one hits like Ngannou. In fact, his punch is broke the record for the most powerful punch, which some experts said is equivalent to a Ford Escort running full speed.
So if we base it off with science, Ngannou is really the most powerful puncher. Although in Martial Arts, there are a lot more things that factor in order to win a fight. Royce Gracie proved that in the first ever UFC event where he stopped bigger guys with the use of his BJJ.
Yes, Power helps in the fight game since it can end a fight with a single strike but the question lies if they land and also if his opponent goes down. During Ngannou’s first title shot, he landed a lot of powerful strikes but Stipe ate all of it and did not go down. Stipe also exploited his wrestling and took him down easily.
Ngannou learned a lot in that fight which later proved in their rematch. In the rematch, he showed improvements in his wrestling, stuffing the takedown. That may have been the most pivotal point in the first round. It gave him the confidence that he can defend the takedowns of Stipe and also Stipe may have doubts of shooting another takedown.
Not only did Ngannou defend the takedown, he also took the back of Stipe and landed a lot of strikes. What was frightening was how fast he transitioned to a back control, considering his size. It showed that he worked on his wrestling that even Daniel Cormier gave credit to.
There was another weakness that many think that Ngannou had and it was his cardio. Even though we have not seen Ngannou go past the championship rounds, he still looked more composed in his last fight. The more composed a fighter is, the less likely he will get tired in the later rounds. To put it into more simply, he became efficient with his style.
Some also think that Ngannou just relies on his power and is throwing haymakers, well in their fight he showed to be more technically sounded. His jab, hooks and even head-kick looked more polished. This is all done in such a short amount of time and he may have not yet reached his ceiling.
With how Ngannou is still improving, how will the heavyweights be able to handle his power? He may only need one strike to win the fight. Does an all-time great like Jon Jones have the skill to beat Ngannou? Or could Derrick Lewis knock him out where two unstoppable forces collide.
He already knocked out Curtis Blaydes who may have been the only volume wrestler in the division. That is the beauty of the sport, where anything can happen. Who do you think has the best shot in beating Ngannou?