By News Team
24th March 2021
There’s no prize greater than the heavyweight title in the UFC, and all eyes turn to Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou this weekend at UFC 260, as the former seeks his fifth successful defence of the crown on Saturday night.
The challenger Ngannou, who Miocic defeated over three years ago for the title in Boston, will be going for gold at his second attempt, with a chance to avenge what was his first loss in the UFC.
We preview the fight in detail and pick out the best odds for the fight.
Miocic all class in first fight
Despite coming into their first meeting as the champion, Cleveland born Miocic was the bookies underdog, with many believing that the unbeaten Ngannou was an unstoppable force.
But Miocic leaned on his pure MMA background, exerting his takedown qualities early on in the first few rounds. With Ngannou noticeably tiring after the klaxon of the first round, Miocic began to stand and trade throughout the rest of the fight, and his ability to duck in and out of range at the right moments left the challenger with no answers.
It was a coming-of-age night for Miocic, who had been written off against the Cameroonian-French fighter, silencing the doubters to prove himself as the true heavyweight champion in the UFC, whilst becoming the first man to win three consecutive heavyweight title defences in the company.
Back in contention
After a disappointing defeat to Derrick Lewis in his first fight back from defeat to Miocic, Ngannou has been on a collision course for a second shot at the title.
He’s faced four opponents since November 2018 – Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, veterans and newcomers alike, and all killers in their own right.
But only one of those fighters lasted the first minute, with KO and TKOs coming against Blaydes, Velasquez and Rozenstruik within the first 45 seconds, and Dos Santos lasting just one minute and 11 seconds. The average length of his last four fights is just 40.5 seconds.
Some might say this isn’t the preparation that is needed for someone like Miocic, who will ride the storm and make things ugly, and will be more than prepared to take you into deep waters. But frankly, Ngannou is all power, and fundamentals go out of the window when you’re facing someone who can punch through brick walls, which is why he comes in as the favourite to win the bout at 4/5.
But with Ngannou’s recent record, it’s no surprise to see the challenger come in at just 21/20 to win the fight by KO/TKO/DQ.