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Just how much was it possible for Francis Ngannou to have improved since his first heavyweight title loss against Stipe Miocic in 2018 entering last Saturday's rematch? It turns out the answer was a lot. 

In fact, it turned out to be a frightening amount. 

Ngannou (16-3) mopped up on Miocic at UFC 260 to emphatically corral the UFC's heavyweight title while capping off an incredible rags-to-riches story for the Cameroon-born fighter who only picked up the sport for the first time some eight years ago. 

The manner in which Ngannou had knocked out his previous four opponents with such ease entering the Miocic rematch couldn't have prepared anyone for how good he could actually be should an opponent survive the opening minutes of the fight. 

Like their first fight, the almost superhuman Miocic was able to absorb enough damage for Ngannou to showcase his skill set. Unlike their 2018 meeting, however, Ngannou showed tremendous improvement in everything from takedown defense, offensive wrestling, cardio and poise that it makes it difficult not to rank him high among the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. 

Ngannou's default intangibles were already insane. He's the most devastating puncher the sport has ever known and he proved against Miocic the first time that his chin and willingness to persevere through heavy duress are of a championship-level mold. 

Now, the rapid improvement of Ngannou's technical game and the addition of functional skills like high kicks and body punching might make it so he will open as an overwhelming betting favorite against just about anyone in the world. 

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It's not hyperbole to say that Ngannou could be on the verge of creating his own era within heavyweight history should the rapid levels of his improvement continue at this pace. 

If opponents are unable to knock him out or expose his gas tank by taking him down, how are they going to beat him, especially when the threat of his power forces his foes into a naturally defensive posture? That's a question that will be fun finding out the answer as the future unfolds. 

For CBS Sports' updated divisional rankings, click here.

Men's pound-for-pound rankings

Dropped out: Stipe Miocic

Just missed: Petr Yan, Charles Oliveira, Robert Whittaker, Miocic, Brian Ortega, Aljamain Sterling

Women's pound-for-pound rankings

Dropped out: None

Just missed: Jessica Andrade, Germaine de Randamie, Holly Holm, Aspen Ladd, Yan Xiaonan