Ahead of every UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of MMA Oddsbreaker takes a peek at some of the key contests at each function. 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 initial 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 life Ohio native has been 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. 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 in the heavyweight division. Besides wrestling, he also played baseball in school, even drawing attention from a Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing history competing at the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having strong hands and works an extremely large pace for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a minute. In comparison, he is just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per second with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking wrestling grading over two takedowns each 15 minutes inside the octagon. Miocic is not the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves very well and has proven an ability to prevent taking much harm. Miocic has a solid motor complete and may even work a decent speed late in fights. On the flip side, he can be hurt by opponents. He was stunned by Overeem only a few bouts ago, so that’s something to watch for moving ahead.
Francis Ngannou (Record: 11-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: A+)
On a six battle winning streak to start his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a real danger to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He’s finished all six of his UFC competitions 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 moving to France in age 22. He was homeless for a time period, living in the streets of Paris as he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up at MMA Factory and developed to a fighter. He never return and started fighting in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches MMA at 83″ inches. His output is small for a stride in 3.41 significant strikes per minute. He’s got heavy power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter that appears to brawl. He’s fairly patient time his chances. He’ll go for it, when a finish is sensed by him.
From an athletic standpoint, he is about as good as there is at the UFC. He is muscular, exceptionally strong, and nimble. He is a fighter that can do things that other fighters cannot do inside the Octagon. The majority of his finishes have come early in fights; Ngannou hasn’t been pushed yet so it’s a whole unknown what kind of pace he’d fight at if pushed into the championship rounds. His takedown defense is adequate, but it is not elite therefore he could be carried down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
His brow has rarely been analyzed. His striking defense is excellent absorbing just 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. 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 he has been contested. That was a moment of even a fluke or weakness. Until he is tested again, it is going to be hard to tell the way he deals with adversity.
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