Top 5 Can’t-Miss Moments from UFC 249 [WATCH]

Francis Ngannou UFC 249


Despite what seemed like limitless obstacles, UFC 249 did go on as planned on Saturday night at Vystar Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.

Indeed, the UFC’s latest pay-per-view event was a welcome site to sports fans the world over after the COVID-19 pandemic shelved just about everything else going on, so Heavy pulled together the top five can’t-miss moments from the big night just in case you missed it or maybe just wanted to relive it again.

Behold, Heavy’s top five can’t-miss moments from UFC 249.

1. Gaethje Upsets Tony Ferguson for Interim Title

Gaethje was a late replacement opponent for Tony Ferguson for UFC 249 after the COVID-19 outbreak sidelined UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. But Gaethje was game to take on “El Cucuy” with short notice, so UFC made the fight and put its interim 155-pound belt up for grabs.

Still, while Gaethje entered UFC 249 with massive respect from fans, experts, and other fighters, he wasn’t favored to win the matchup. But Gaethje came in ready to dominate, and that is exactly what he did.

For five rounds, Gaethje battered Ferguson’s head and body until blood poured out from his face and the referee finally stopped the fight. Ferguson simply had no answer for the onslaught that Gaethje brought to the Octagon on Saturday night.

In the end, Gaethje pulled off the biggest and best win of his career.

2. Francis Ngannou KOs Jair Rozenstruik in 20 Seconds

There’s a reason why Francis Ngannou has been called the “Mike Tyson of MMA”, and we all witnessed it on Saturday night when Ngannou flattened undefeated heavyweight terror Jair Rozenstruik in just 20 seconds.

You can watch the highlight below to see Ngannou step away just after he completely wrecked Rozenstruik with vicious and powerful punches.

No kidding, Ngannou is a beast.

3. Henry Cejudo Defends Title and Shockingly Retires

Henry Cejudo had more than one shock in store for fans on Saturday night.

First, the bantamweight champ soundly defeated Dominick Cruz via second-round TKO. Then, during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, the 33-year-old champ stunningly announced his retirement from MMA.

Calling it quits at the top of your game is admirable, but rarely done, and Cejudo’s credentials can’t be questioned at this point.

The 33-year-old retired over the weekend as the only Olympic champ to ever become UFC champ as well as only the fourth-ever UFC “champ champ” alongside Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, and Amanda Nunes.

“Triple C” is truly one of the best combat sports athletes ever.

You can watch Cejudu’s full UFC 249 post-fight interview below.

4. Greg Hardy Hears Daniel Cormier’s Advice During Match and Takes It

When rising heavyweight contender Hardy met Yorgan de Castro at the center of the Octagon at UFC 249, the lack of the crowd meant Hardy could hear color commentator Daniel Cormier during the fight.

While his opponent got out to a fast start with brutal leg kicks, Hardy eventually started checking those kicks on his way to taking over the fight and scoring the decision win.

During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Hardy revealed the real reason he knew he needed to check those kicks. It’s because he heard Cormier saying as much from cageside.

It’s a brave new world at UFC events, and Hardy stands ready to make the most out of it.

5. Huge Win for UFC and Big Night for Sports Fans

Look, putting on a huge sporting event such as a UFC PPV always has lots of moving parts, but getting this one off the ground with the added health and safety measures needed due to the coronavirus pandemic must have been quite the undertaking.

Amazingly, UFC fighters, staff, and medical personnel all pulled together last week to make sure UFC 249 happened, and fans all over the world were able to enjoy a stacked card that featured two title fights and a bunch of other noteworthy contests.

White said, “I’ve never been more proud to be a part of this sport than I am today. In tough times, you need tough people; from the fighters, corners, their families, my staff, production, the athletic commission, and most importantly, the physicians and nurses that made tonight a reality.”

Sure, fans weren’t able to be inside the arena on fight night, but being able to see any live sports on TV at all right now was a huge win for many, and it’s probably something those people will remember for a long time.

That’s a massive win for UFC, something that should only help it continue to grow.

Honorable Mention: Gaethje Takes a Massive Uppercut

Finally, Gaethje’s near-perfect performance against Ferguson didn’t come without the fighter having to take some massive blows.

Below you can see the biggest punch the new interim champ had to walk through to score the win over the weekend.

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Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson