Ngannou, Gaethje, Nunes, Blachowicz: Who is UFC's hardest puncher?

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Bleacher Report have revealed who they believe are the 10 hardest punches in the UFC today, with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou the unsurprising top dog when it comes to pure punching power.

Striking is an incredibly important part of MMA and a forceful hand is a weapon every fighter would love to have in their arsenal.

The list that Bleacher compiled also takes into account weight and is a pound-for-pound analysis, hence why not everyone included is a heavyweight.

Justin Gaethje was the first entry by BR. The American has an excellent UFC record, winning 22 out of 25 fights – 19 via knockout. However, Gaethje is yet to make an appearance in the Octagon after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2020.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz also features in the list. The pole has been tearing up MMA since 2007, making his UFC debut back in 2014. He has a fearsome right hand which has helped him secure eight knockouts in 28 of his MMA victories.

Paulo Costa is the next name included. The man known as "Borrachinha" - Portuguese for "The Eraser” – is one of the most powerful men to step into the Octagon.

The Brazilian has scored some superb knockout victories during his relatively young UFC career, besting Johnny Hendricks, Uriah Hall and Oluwale Bamgbose.

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Two American’s come next: Cody Garbrandt and Jeremy Stephens.

Former bantamweight Garbrandt has won an impressive 10 out of his 12 victories by knockout, including flooring Brazilian brawler Thomas Almeida.

Veteran Stephens has been around the block for a while now, competing in 48 professional MMA fights so far.

While his record isn’t anything to write home about, Stephens does boast a formidable punch.

The best example of this was in 2018 when he beat Josh Emmet with a left-hook and a series of elbows, forcing Emmet to have emergency surgery and leaving him on the sidelines for more than a year.

Sadly for Stephens, he’ll always be known as “who the f*** is that guy,” as he was referred to by Conor McGregor.

Amanda Nunes is one of the most dangerous women to compete in the UFC.

She is largely considered the greatest female fighter of all time, defeating icons such as Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm.

Her power is almost unrivalled, dominating the incredibly strong Cris Cyborg in less than one minute also.

Up next are two terrifying Brazilians in Thiago Santos and Junior dos Santos.

Santos bested Blachowicz back in 2019 in a battle between two behemoths. His 15 MMA knockouts have earned the nickname “The Sledgehammer.”

Dos Santos is one of the most feared strikers from the heavyweight division, knocking out the likes of Stefan Struve, Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir.

At 37, Dos Santos may not be in the prime of his career, but with fists that deadly, he’s still more than capable of competing.

Completing the list was “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis, who has the most knockouts of any heavyweight in the UFC and Francis Ngannou, who BR tipped as “the hardest puncher in MMA ever.”

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Francis Ngannou

Where was Francis Ngannou born?

You certainly want to keep your distance from these fighters in the Octagon, or it could all be over very quickly.

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