Ahead of every UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of MMA Oddsbreaker have a look at a few 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. This is 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 life 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. In case Miocic beats dos Santos, he’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight using 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 has an amateur boxing background competing at the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a fantastic striker having strong hands and operates an extremely high rate for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a minute. In comparison, he is just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per minute with 61 percent striking defense.
Miocic combines his striking with 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 good 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 only a couple bouts past, so that’s 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 threat to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He has completed all six of his UFC competitions with his last four successes all coming within the opening two minutes of those bouts.
The Cameroon born heavyweight began training in boxing in his native Cameroon before proceeding to France at age 22. He had been homeless for a time period, living in the streets of Paris because he picked up odd jobs here and there until he joined up in MMA Factory and turned to a fighter. He never return and started fighting professionally in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has one of the longest reaches MMA in 83″ inches. His output is small for a stride in 3.41 significant strikes per minute. He has heavy power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter who appears to brawl. He is fairly patient timing his chances. When a finish is sensed by him, he’ll go for it.
From an athletic standpoint, he is about as good as there is in the UFC. He’s muscular, exceptionally powerful, and agile. He’s a fighter that can do things that other fighters can’t do inside the Octagon. The majority of his endings have come in fights; Ngannou has not yet been pushed yet so it’s a complete unknown what kind of pace he’d fight at if pressed into the tournament rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it’s not elite so he can be carried down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
On the feet, his brow has seldom 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 fight, but recovered quickly and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That is the only time. That was a moment of weakness or even a fluke. Until he’s analyzed again, it will be hard to tell how he deals with adversity.
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