Publish Date: 01/19/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
This Saturday night at UFC 220 in Boston, MMA fans will be treated to arguably the best heavyweight title fight this decade. American Stipe Miocic, 17-2, will put his title on the line against Cameroon sensation Francis Ngannu, 11-1.
Miocic, the underdog at +180, enters this contest with a chance to make history as he tries to become the first man in UFC history to successfully defend the heavyweight title three consecutive times. The Ohio native has felt disrespected during the buildup for the fight and has publicly said he believes the UFC wants nothing more than the challenger to win. While Ngannu has been promoted as the “next big thing”, Miocic would love to “spoil” his coronation tomorrow night.
Ngannu, -160, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the rankings since making his UFC debut in December of 2015. He’s undefeated during that time at 6-0 with all six wins coming inside of two rounds. Ngannu most recently made quick work, first round KO, of longtime heavyweight mainstay Alistair Overeem last month at UFC 218.
While Ngannu possesses devastating power, his overall skill set is unknown due to… well, did I mention he had devastating power? However, when he has been pushed a little there’s been a noticeable drop off in activity levels the longer the fight lasts.
A longer fight would certainly benefit Miocic more as he has been the full 25-minute championship distance before with no problems. Miocic also needs to work behind his jab and try to maintain a safe distance early on as Ngannu tends to be a “free swinger” out the gate. While the standup is close to even, the grappling favors the champ with him being a former elite level Division 1 collegiate wrestler.
While Ngannu is the favorite, my pick is Miocic by TKO 3.
The co-main features longtime light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, -300, putting his belt up against challenger Volkan Oezdwmir, +270. UFC 220 starts at 8pm EST and is available via Pay-Per-View on UFC Fight Pass as well through your local cable and satellite provider.