Prior to every UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of all MMA Oddsbreaker have a peek at a few of the essential competitions at every event. In the most recent installment, we consider the main event of UFC 220 as Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. This can be 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 lifetime Ohio native was on a tear, winning his last five fights as 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’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight using three.
Miocic is among the most well-rounded athletes at the heavyweight division. In addition to wrestling, he played baseball in college, even drawing interest from some Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing background competing in the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having solid hands and works a very large pace for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a minute. In contrast, he’s just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per minute with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking wrestling scoring over two takedowns every 15 minutes inside the octagon. Miocic isn’t the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves really well and has proven an ability to avoid taking much damage. Miocic includes a solid motor complete and may even work an adequate speed late in battles. On the side, competitions can hurt him. He had been amazed by Overeem just a couple bouts ago, so that is something to watch for moving forward.
Francis Ngannou (Record: 11-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: A+)
On a six fight winning streak to begin his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a true danger to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He’s completed all six of his UFC opponents with his last four successes 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 in age 22. He was homeless for a time period, residing in the streets of Paris as he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up in MMA Factory and developed to a fighter. He never turned back and started fighting in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches in MMA in 83″ inches. His output is modest for a heavyweight at 3.41 significant strikes every second. He’s got heavy power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter that appears to brawl. He is fairly patient time his opportunities. He will do it, when a finish is sensed by him.
From an athletic standpoint, he’s about as good as there is in the UFC. He is muscular, exceptionally powerful, and nimble. He is a fighter that could do things that other fighters can’t do inside the Octagon. Most of his finishes have come early in conflicts; Ngannou hasn’t yet been pushed yet so it is a complete unknown what kind of pace he would struggle at if pushed into the championship rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it’s not elite so he can be taken down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
On the toes, his chin has seldom been analyzed. His striking defense is excellent absorbing just 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent defense that is striking. He had been staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his second UFC fight, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That’s the only time he’s been contested. That was a moment of weakness or a fluke. Until he’s analyzed again, it will be tough to tell how he deals with adversity.
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