Prior to each UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of all MMA Oddsbreaker have a look at a few of the key contests at every event. In the most recent installment, we consider the primary event of UFC 220 as Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. That can be Francis Ngannou’s first main 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 lifetime 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 back of a knockout victory over dos Santos in their rematch in May 2017. In case Miocic beats dos Santos, then he will break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight with three.
Miocic is among the most well-rounded athletes in the division. In addition to wrestling, he also played baseball in school, even drawing interest from some Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing history competing in the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a fantastic striker having strong hands and works a very high pace for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In contrast, he is only absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per minute with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking with wrestling grading over two takedowns each 15 minutes within the octagon. Miocic is not the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves really well and has proven an ability to avoid taking much harm. Miocic includes a solid motor overall and can even work a decent pace late in fights. On the side, competitions can hurt him. He had been amazed by Overeem only a few 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 danger to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He has finished all six of his UFC competitions with his last 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 moving to France at age 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 before he joined up in MMA Factory and turned into a fighter. He started fighting in 2013 and never turned back.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches in MMA at 83″ inches. His output is modest for a heavyweight at 3.41 significant strikes per minute. He’s got substantial power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he’s not a fighter that looks to brawl. He’s fairly patient timing his chances. When he feels a finish, he’ll do it.
From an athletic standpoint, he’s about as good as there is at the UFC. He’s muscular, extremely powerful, and nimble. He is a fighter which can do things that other fighters can’t do inside the Octagon. Most of his endings have come in conflicts; Ngannou has not been pushed yet so it’s a complete unknown what kind of pace he would fight at if pushed into the tournament rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it is not elite therefore he could be taken down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
His chin has been analyzed. His striking defense is outstanding absorbing just 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent defense that is striking. He had been staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his next UFC struggle, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That’s the only time. Perhaps that was a moment of weakness or a fluke. Until he is analyzed again, it is going to be tough to tell the way he copes with adversity.
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