The stock of Francis Ngannou within the UFC has really fallen in 2018.
He was on a five-fight win streak in the promotion when he really propelled himself to the top of the heavyweight division after pummelling Alistair Overeem in under two minutes.
And that secured him a massive title fight with Stipe Miocic in January of 2018, in which he was the favourite pre-fight to take the belt home with him.
But after not being able to take out Miocic in the first round of their highly-anticipated clash, the champion wrestled the energy all out of his fearsome challenger, and slugged his way to a unanimous victory on the scorecards.
Ngannou then lost out to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 in July, in what commentator Joe Rogan described as the 'worst heavyweight fight of all time' - and was then called a 'piece of sh*t' by Brock Lesnar as he stormed the cage following Daniel Cormier's victory over Miocic in the main event.
It couldn't really get much worse for Ngannou - despite Dana White trying to build him up as the new money-man of the division it just hadn't worked out - but a chance at redemption was to come in the form of Curtis Blaydes.
The two had faced-off before in 2016 at UFC Fight Night 86, where Ngannou secured a second round victory due to doctor stoppage, but that was in Blaydes' first-ever UFC fight.
Now ranked number three in the division and on a four-fight victory run, Blaydes was a completely different threat - but you wouldn't have known it when they stepped inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night yesterday in Beijing.
With just 30 seconds of the fight gone, Ngannou landed a stiff right-hook to the side of Blaydes' head, and despite getting back to his feet, the American was all over the place.
And after more clubbing blows by the Cameroonian, referee Marc Goddard stepped-in to award Ngannou the TKO victory - and thus put the division on notice again to tell them that he's back once again.
Ngannou declared post-fight that he was indeed back, and despite saying either Junior Dos Santos or Alexander Volkov would be sensible next fights, he called out Miocic, stating that he wants to 'fix' his mistakes in a rematch.News Now - Sport News