But for several years the UFC’s heavyweight ranks have been the domain of far too many soft-bellied old men whose talent level doesn’t compare to the elite fighters that fill pretty much every other division. Sure there’s some exceptions at the very pointy end — and champion Stipe Miocic holds his own with any belt-wearer in the promotion. But for the most part this division has been perilously thin since the late 2000s when Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos ruled in what was seen as a golden era for heavyweights. How thin? Alexander Volkov (don’t apologise if you’ve never heard of him) entered the UFC after losing his last two fights in Bellator but is already ranked seventh after decision wins against Tim Johnson and Roy Nelson and a stoppage of Stefan Struve. Without a victory against anyone currently ranked in the top 15 he’s already as high as Michael Bisping is in the middleweight standings — and Bisping was the 185-pound champ only a month ago. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. His name is Francis Ngannou. A 31-year-old Cameroonian with dynamite in his fists who is redefining terror and ready to rule the land of the giants. THE COMING OUT PARTY Francis Ngannou hits Alistair Overeem in the first round at UFC 218. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)Source:AP If, like Alistair Overeem, you’re still waking up after the weekend, you may have missed the uppercut heard round the world Ngannou landed at UFC 218. Pitted against one of the most well-rounded heavyweights in history, Ngannou didn’t just beat Overeem, he sent him into another realm. “His toes are locked up like he’s just been electrocuted,” commentator Joe Rogan said of a prone Overeem. “He’s still stiff as a board. That’s how scary Francis Ngannou is — it was like a scene from a movie.” Some had cracked jokes when Ngannou claimed he’d broken the world record for punching power while being tested at UFC headquarters in the lead-up to the fight. But no one was laughing when he starched Overeem with a long, looping punch that looked similar to the neck-stretching boxing’s heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua gave Wladimir Klitschko earlier