Ahead of every UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of MMA Oddsbreaker takes a peek at a few of the key contests at every function. In the latest installment, we consider the main event of UFC 220 since Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. This is Francis Ngannou’s first 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 in 2014. He enters Saturday’s title fight on the rear of a knockout victory over dos Santos in their rematch in May 2017. In case Miocic beats dos Santos, he’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight using three.
Miocic is among the most athletes in the heavyweight division. Besides wrestling, he played baseball in school, even drawing attention from a Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he has an amateur boxing background competing in the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having strong hands and operates a very high rate for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In comparison, he is only absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per minute with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic mixes his striking wrestling grading over two takedowns every 15 minutes within the octagon. Miocic is not the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves really well and has shown an ability to prevent taking much damage. Miocic has a solid motor complete and can even work a decent speed late in fights. On the side, opponents can hurt him. He had been amazed 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 battle winning streak to begin his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has quickly risen to be a real threat to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He’s finished all six of his UFC competitions with his last four victories all coming within the opening two minutes of these bouts.
The Cameroon born heavyweight began training in boxing in his native Cameroon before moving to France at age 22. He had been homeless for a time period, living in the streets of Paris because he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up at MMA Factory and developed to a fighter. He never turned back and started fighting professionally 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’s not a fighter that appears to brawl. He’s fairly patient timing his opportunities. When a finish is sensed by him, he will go for it.
From an athletic standpoint, he’s about as good as there is in the UFC. He’s muscular, exceptionally powerful, and agile. He is a fighter which could do things that other fighters can’t do inside the Octagon. Most of his endings have come in fights; Ngannou has not been pushed yet so it’s a complete unknown what sort of pace he would struggle at if pushed into the championship rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it’s not elite therefore he can be carried down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
His chin has been tested. His striking defense is outstanding absorbing only 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. He was staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his next UFC struggle, but recovered fast and ended up dropping by doctor stoppage. That’s the only time. Perhaps that was a rare moment of weakness or even a fluke. Until he’s tested again, it will be hard to tell the way he deals with adversity.
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