A heavyweight championship match has been pegged for UFC 220 on Jan. 20 in Boston. Following his first-round destruction of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 last weekend, Cameroon’s Francis Ngannou will challenge Stipe Miocic for his belt, according to reports.
No one deserves the shot more than Ngannou who is unbeaten inside the octagon with six straight finishes. Prior to his knockout of Overeem, “The Predator” knocked out Andrei Arlovski in January and submitted Anthony Hamilton in Dec. 2016. Ngannou also holds knockout wins over Bojan Mihajlović, Curts Blaydes and Luis Henrique.
At 35, Miocic is 4 years the elder of Ngannou and is riding a five-fight knockout win streak of his own — and that list reads like a who’s who. Prior to his first-round stoppage of former champ Junior Dos Santos in their rematch at UFC 211 in May, Miocic had put a stop to Overeem, Fabricio Werdum for the title, and Arlovski, all in 2016. He also knocked out Mark Hunt in the fifth round at UFC Fight Night 65 in May 2015 to start his current winning streak.
Ngannou has only been competing professionally in mixed martial arts since 2013. His only loss was a unanimous decision on a regional show in France in what was only his second pro fight in Dec. 2013. He’s finished every other opponent he’s faced and is on a 10-fight winning streak.
Miocic has been fighting professionally since 2010. Both his losses have been inside the UFC octagon; a TKO loss to Stefan Struve in 2012 and a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos in their first meeting in Dec. 2014.
Both Miocic and Ngannou have big power. Seven of Ngannou’s 11 wins have been by knockout, and Miocic has finished 13 of his 17 wins via knockout. There’s no way this one is going to go the distance.
What’s interesting is oddsmakers are giving Ngannou the edge. And the UK’s top no deposit bonus website can lead you to some of the top casinos and sportsbooks if you’re feeling lucky. Miocic is currently the underdog at +130, while Ngannou is the favorite at -160. The hype on Ngannou is real following his pummeling of Overeem and oddsmakers are certainly hoping to attract new bettors and take advantage of that fact. While in truth, Miocic’s list of victims, at least at present, far outshines the competition Ngannou has overcome thus far.
Ngannou’s win over Overeem was impressive, but The Reem’s chin has a lot of miles on it. And we could say the same about his win over Arlovski. Unlike Miocic, Ngannou hasn’t gone five rounds with the likes of a Mark Hunt. He hasn’t slugged it out with someone as durable as a Roy Nelson. Ngannou is super talented, but let’s see how he does against a prime Miocic before we start crowning him the next big thing. My money is on the champ in this one.