Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown of MMA Oddsbreaker have a look at some of the key contests at each function. In the latest installment, we consider the main event of UFC 220 since 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 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. In case Miocic beats dos Santos, he’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight with three.
Miocic is among the most athletes in the division. In addition to wrestling, he also played baseball in college, even drawing interest from a Major League Baseball teams. In reference to MMA, he’s got an amateur boxing history competing at the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a fantastic striker having solid hands and operates a very high pace for a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a moment. In comparison, he’s just absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per minute with 61 percent striking defense.
Miocic combines his striking wrestling scoring over two takedowns every 15 minutes within the octagon. Miocic isn’t the division’s hardest puncher, but he moves very well and has shown an ability to avoid taking much harm. Miocic includes a good motor complete and can even work a decent pace late in battles. On the flip side, competitions can hurt him. He was stunned by Overeem just 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 battle winning streak to begin his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has rapidly risen to be a true threat to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He’s finished 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 at the age of 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 at MMA Factory and turned to a fighter. He never turned back and began fighting in 2013.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has among the longest reaches in MMA at 83″ inches. His output is small for a heavyweight at 3.41 significant strikes per minute. He has heavy power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he’s not a fighter who appears to brawl. He’s fairly patient timing his chances. He’ll go for it, when he senses a finish.
From an athletic standpoint, he’s about as good as there is at the UFC. He’s muscular, extremely powerful, and nimble. He’s a fighter that could do things that other fighters can’t do inside the Octagon. The majority of his finishes have come in fights; Ngannou has not been pushed yet so it is a complete unknown what kind of pace he would struggle at if pressed into the championship rounds. His takedown defense is adequate, but it is not elite so he can be carried down to the mat by wrestling focused fighters.
On the toes, his brow has seldom been tested. His striking defense is excellent absorbing just 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. He was staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his next UFC fight, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That is the only time he’s been contested. That was a rare moment of a fluke or weakness. Until he is analyzed again, it will be tough to tell how he deals with adversity.

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