Stipe Miocic became the first heavyweight to defend his belt three times after seeing off Francis Ngannou at UFC 220.

Miocic, 35, has held the UFC heavyweight title since May 2016 and had already seen off the challenges of Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos.

Ngannou had stopped all of his previous opponents at UFC – but had never gone past the second round – and Miocic’s experience and stamina showed in Boston.

The Cameroonian-Frenchman came out strong in the early exchanges, but Miocic held firm and dished out punishment of his own.

Ngannou began to tire in the third after Miocic pinned him to the cage and landed some knee shots.

There was no knockout, but Miocic had landed 100 more strikes than his opponent and won by unanimous decision 50-44.

On the same bill, Daniel Cormier (20-1) defended his UFC light-heavyweight title with a domination of Switzerland’s Volkan Oezdemir (16-1).

Cormier, 38, was reinstated as champion after Jon Jones failed a drug test following their rematch last year, and the fight was stopped two minutes in the second round after Cormier had Oezdemir pinned and struck blows into his face for a TKO win by punches.