UFC 260: Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou
By Shaquille Morgan
UFC 260: Stipe Miocic vs Ngannou 2 is just a few days away. The consensus on the much-anticipated rematch between heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, and number 1 ranked Francis Ngannou is quite straight forward. Most analysts predict the fight to have two possible outcomes: either Miocic repeats his performance in the first fight and beats Ngannou in a lopsided prolonged battle or Ngannou’s powerful right hand knocks Stipe out at any given moment. All things considered; the fight will most likely play out in a far different manner on the virtue of the outcome from the first fight between the two that took place at UFC 220 in February 2018.
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Both fighters will enter the UFC octagon with knowledge of having fought each other previously, this means that necessary adjustments from either party will gift the audience a potential fight of the year contender.
Since UFC 220, Miocic took part in a memorable trilogy against Daniel Cormier, getting knocked out in the first fight at UFC 226 before regaining the heavyweight belt via TKO at UFC 241 and earning a decision in the final fight at UFC 252. Ngannou didn’t do much better in his first fight post-Miocic bout, losing to Derrick Lewis via a decision. However, Ngannou has been on the rise since that fight vs Derrick Lewis, with four consecutive TKO finishes against Curtis Blaydes, Rozenstruik, Velasquez, and Junior dos Santos – remarkably none of these fights lasted past 71 seconds which highlights the brute power and force Ngannou punches with.
Who will win at 260: Stipe Miocic or Francis Ngannou?
Both come into the bout with similar height, though Ngannou will have a three-inch reach advantage over Miocic. Looking at the statistic provided by ufcstats.com, Miocic has the edge in strikes landed per minute (4.90) and striking accuracy (52%). Also, Miocic has a better striking defence percentage (55%) compared to Ngannou’s (47%). Although stats can help us identify clear advantages, things can easily end in one punch from Ngannou’s powerful style of boxing. In recent fights, Ngannou has been coached a lot better and has looked even more dangerous in the octagon, however we still don’t know how well his wrestling defence and cardio has progressed, and to be fair to Ngannou he hasn’t been put in a situation where he has been able to display those attributes.
In this fight, Miocic will look to tire out Ngannou and use his experience to grapple up with Ngannou to counteract his powerful punching ability. Ngannou, meanwhile, will look to end the bout early with punches that have earned him his reputation in UFC. Ngannou has a good chance of winning this fight, he has shown his ability to knock any fighter in this weight division. But unlike some of the talents Ngannou has faced, Miocic is arguably the best active fighter around with amazing wrestling pedigree. And not being able to witness supposed improvements Ngannou has made on his ground defence has made people keep a cast of doubt in mind.
Prediction; Miocic, TKO3
If Miocic can survive the early danger from Ngannou he will have the upper hand in this fight, and as the bout progresses Ngannou will begin to fatigue leaving open body shots for Miocic. Miocic throughout his career has shown that he has the ability to weather the storm and not get hit clean therefore I believe Miocic will retain his championship in this fight.