Ahead of each UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of all MMA Oddsbreaker takes a peek at some of the essential contests at every function. In the most recent installment, we consider the main event of UFC 220 as Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. That can be Francis Ngannou’s first major event and first time fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship, despite this, he’s nevertheless the betting favorite.
Stipe Miocic (Record: 17-2, +165 Underdog, Power Ranking: A+)
The 35-year-old lifetime 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 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 at the division. In addition to wrestling, he played baseball in college, even drawing attention from a Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing background competing at the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a good striker having strong hands and works a very high rate to get a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In contrast, he is only absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per second with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking with wrestling scoring over two takedowns every 15 minutes inside the octagon. Miocic is not 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 can even work a decent speed late in fights. On the reverse side, he can be hurt by opponents. He was stunned by Overeem only a few bouts past, 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 begin his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a real threat to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He has completed all six of his UFC opponents 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 moving to France in age 22. He was homeless for a time period, living in the streets of Paris because he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up in MMA Factory and developed into a fighter. He never turned back and started fighting professionally in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has one of 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 is not a fighter that appears to brawl. He is fairly patient time his chances. When he senses a finish, he’ll go for it.
From an athletic standpoint, he’s about as good as there is in the UFC. He’s muscular, extremely strong, and nimble. He’s a fighter that could do things that other fighters can’t do within the Octagon. The majority of his endings have come in fights; Ngannou hasn’t 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 can be taken down to the mat by wrestling concentrated fighters.
On the toes, his brow has rarely been tested. His striking defense is excellent absorbing only 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. He had been staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his second UFC struggle, but recovered quickly and ended up dropping by doctor stoppage. That’s the only time he has been contested. That was a moment of a fluke or weakness. Until he is tested again, it is going to be tough to tell the way he deals with adversity.

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