UFC 260: NGANNOU VS MIOCIC: The highly anticipated rematch will take place in the APEX in Las Vegas. The two-time champion will be taking on the number 1 contender who is a much-improved fighter since their bout on UFC 220.
The fight lasted five rounds and Miocic was able to win via decision. It was a dominating win for Stipe, but there is no denying that Francis landed some big shots in that fight which gave Stipe a bruise under his eye.
The big question is can Ngannou dethrone Miocic and start his run at defending the belt? In this matchup, Miocic comes in as a slight underdog as Ngannou’s power cannot be overlooked, but Ngannou will need a better selection as to when to strike because one miss can be troubling for Francis.
On the other hand, Stipe has both incredible head and lateral movement and much better cardio should the fight go into the championship rounds.
UFC 260: FRANCIS NGANNOU PREVIEW
With the fight being in Las Vegas, Ngannou has a slight advantage due to how the UFC Octagon is set up. The 25-foot octagon should help Francis in the matchup when compared to the traditional 30-foot ring. Looking back, Ngannou has won his last four fights via first-round KO.
Francis Ngannou’s last fight against Jairzinho Rozenstruik was an example of how much an advantage a smaller octagon has for a striker. Against Rozenstruik, Ngannou only needed 20 seconds to knock out his opponent.
None of his last four fights lasted beyond 75 seconds which certainly raises questions in regards to his cardio.
Str. Acc.: 37%
Str. Def: 47%
TD Avg.: 0.00
TD Acc.: 0%
TD Def.: 71%
Sub. Avg.: 0.5
UFC 260: STIPE MIOCIC PREVIEW
Since the clash in 2018, Miocic has defended his belt against Daniel Cormier three times without any problems. For his career, Miocic has 15 knockouts and a total of four title defenses.
On top of his excellent cardio, the champion has great technical boxing skills, good wrestling, and a very high fighting IQ.
The championship rounds are where Ngannou could run into problems as the physiological aspect can play a big role.
Ngannou is at his best when he doesn’t hold back and swings for the fences, but in their last matchup, he gassed himself out by missing a ton of strikes. Missing has proven to tire a fighter out especially a striker because the fighter would have to reset his or her whole body.
When fighting, slightly hitting the opponent is less tiresome. If Ngannou uses the same approach as he did three years ago, Stipe has a solid chin and should use his jab effectively and land some leg kicks in the fight. Miocic should also rely on his wrestling to tire out Ngannou.
Str. Acc.: 52%
Str. Def: 55%
TD Avg.: 1.92
TD Acc.: 34%
TD Def.: 70%
Sub. Avg.: 0.0
It is easy to assume that Francis Ngannou has evolved since the last fight, but fans and critics couldn’t make accurate assessments as the fights ended too early. He has a chance to dethrone Miocic if he presses early and lands those lethal strikes because no fighter hits harder than him in the Heavyweight division.
If that doesn’t work out two minutes into the fight, Ngannou will have to change his game plan quickly if he wants to take the belt from Miocic. He will have to pace through the first couple of rounds and avoid making mistakes.
If Ngannou makes a big mistake, Miocic will notice as he is a very technical fighter. He will most likely cage clinch, force takedowns, and lay on him until Ngannou’s punches weaken and exhaustion takes over. Personally, I would lean towards Stipe in this title fight.