Ahead of each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of all MMA Oddsbreaker takes a peek at a few of the key competitions at every function. In the latest installment, we consider the primary event of UFC 220 as Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. This is Francis Ngannou’s initial main event and first time fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship, despite this, he is nevertheless the betting favorite.
Stipe Miocic (Record: 17-2, +165 Underdog, Power Ranking: A+)
The 35-year-old life Ohio native was on a tear, winning his last five fights since a decision loss to Junior dos Santos at 2014. He enters Saturday’s title fight on the rear of a knockout victory over dos Santos in their rematch in May 2017. If Miocic beats dos Santos, then he will break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight with three.
Miocic is one of the most well-rounded athletes in the heavyweight division. In addition to wrestling, he played baseball in college, even drawing interest from some Major League Baseball teams. In reference to MMA, he has an amateur boxing history competing in the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having strong hands and operates a very large pace to get a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In comparison, he’s just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per second with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking wrestling grading over two takedowns every 15 minutes inside the octagon. Miocic isn’t the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves very well and has proven an ability to avoid taking much harm. Miocic includes a solid motor complete and may even work a decent pace late in battles. On the flip side, he can be hurt by competitions. He had been stunned by Overeem only a couple bouts ago, so that is something to watch for moving ahead.
Francis Ngannou (Record: 11-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: A+)
On a six fight winning streak to start his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a true threat to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He’s completed all six of his UFC opponents with his past four victories all coming over the opening two minutes of these bouts.
The Cameroon born heavyweight began training in boxing in his native Cameroon before proceeding to France at the age of 22. He had been homeless for a period of time, residing in the streets of Paris as he picked up odd jobs here and there until he joined up at MMA Factory and turned to a fighter. He never turned back and started fighting in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches MMA at 83″ inches. His output is modest for a stride in 3.41 significant strikes every second. He has heavy power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter that looks to brawl. He is fairly patient timing his opportunities. When he senses a finish, he’ll go for it.
From an athletic standpoint, he is about as good as there is in the UFC. He’s muscular, extremely strong, and nimble. He’s a fighter that could do things that other fighters cannot do within the Octagon. Most of his finishes have come early in conflicts; Ngannou hasn’t yet been pushed yet so it’s a whole unknown what kind of pace he’d fight at if pressed into the championship rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it’s not elite therefore he could be carried down to the mat by wrestling concentrated fighters.
His chin has been analyzed. His striking defense is outstanding absorbing only 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent defense that is striking. He was staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his second UFC fight, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That is the only time he’s been contested. That was a moment of a fluke or weakness. Until he’s tested again, it is going to be tough to tell the way he deals with adversity.
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