Ahead of every UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of MMA Oddsbreaker have a peek at a few of the key contests at every event. In the latest installment, we consider the primary event of UFC 220 since Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. That can be Francis Ngannou’s initial major event and first time fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship, despite this, he’s still 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, he’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight with three.
Miocic is among the most well-rounded athletes at the division. Besides wrestling, he also played baseball in school, even drawing attention from a Major League Baseball teams. In reference to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing history competing at the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having solid hands and operates an extremely large pace for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In comparison, he is just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per second with 61 percent striking defense.
Miocic mixes his striking with wrestling scoring over two takedowns every 15 minutes within the octagon. Miocic isn’t the division’s hardest puncher, but he moves really well and has shown an ability to avoid taking much harm. Miocic includes a solid motor overall and may even work an adequate speed late in battles. On the side, opponents can hurt him. He had been stunned by Overeem just a couple bouts ago, so that’s something to watch for moving forward.
Francis Ngannou (Record: 11-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: A+)
On a six battle winning streak to begin his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a true danger to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He has completed all six of his UFC competitions with his past four victories all coming over the opening two minutes of those bouts.
The Cameroon born heavyweight began training in boxing in his native Cameroon before proceeding to France at the age of 22. He was homeless for a time period, residing in the streets of Paris because he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up at MMA Factory and turned to a fighter. He never return and started fighting professionally in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches in MMA in 83″ inches. His output is modest for a stride in 3.41 significant strikes every second. He’s got substantial power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter that looks to brawl. He is fairly patient timing his chances. When he feels a finish, he’ll do it.
From an athletic standpoint, he is about as good as there is in the UFC. He’s muscular, extremely strong, and agile. He’s a fighter that could do things that other fighters cannot do within the Octagon. Most of his endings have come early in fights; Ngannou has not been pushed yet so it’s a whole unknown what sort of pace he’d fight at if pressed into the tournament rounds. His takedown defense is adequate, but it’s not elite therefore he could be taken down to the mat by wrestling concentrated fighters.
His brow has seldom been analyzed. His striking defense is outstanding absorbing only 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. He had been staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his second UFC fight, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That is the only time. That was a moment of even a fluke or weakness. Until he’s tested again, it will be tough to tell how he copes with adversity.
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