UFC 220: Miocic v Ngannou, Cormier v Oezdemir preview
Cian Carroll | 19 January 2018
Spectacular night awaits in Massachusetts
There’s a heavyweight night of action in store for fight fans as UFC 220 sees two title fights take place at the TD Garden in Boston.
It’s a co-main event as Daniel Cormier defends his light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir. And that’s then followed by Stipe Miocic defending his heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou.
It promises to be a cracking night of MMA and the Coral News Team has delved into both fights for analysis and predictions.
Cormier v Oezdemir
This light-heavyweight bout is rather strange in that Cormier – 3/10 to win here – is the defending champion. And yet he is the one coming off the back of a defeat.
The champion lost to Jon Jones at UFC 214 in brutal circumstances. Jones subsequently failed a drug test and the result was overturned.
That’s in comparison to the challenger, Oezdemir, who has won his last five straights fight. The Swiss knockout artist has won 15 of his 16 MMA bouts, with just one defeat.
Cormier is a world-class all-rounder with good standout up and Olympic-standard wrestling skills. The American will likely look to take this fight to the ground to counter Oezdimir’s superior striking.
The Swiss fighter’s only defeat came by submission to Kelly Anundson at Bellator 115. And that’s probably where Cormier will concentrate his efforts.
But the momentum on both fighters’ end couldn’t be more different – and that could be a huge factor. Cormier has been there and done it – and he only remains the champ by default.
Can he stop the new breed in Oezdemir? The Coral News Team don’t think so. ‘No Time’ is going to rush Cormier and catch him cold.
Prediction: Volkan Oezdemir to win at 13/5
Miocic v Ngannou
What a fight we have in store here to end the night’s action. Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight strap against the frankly terrifying Francis Ngannou.
In fact, both men are hugely intimidating figures. But Ngannou’s knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 2018 was pure violence.
Ngannou isn’t your typical MMA fighter. The 31-year-old was homeless just a few years ago, living on the streets of Paris trying to make it as a boxer.
He was introduced to MMA and within a handful of years, has risen to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division.
He’s a vicious puncher but he’s much cleverer than he’s given credit for. In that fight with Overeem, he didn’t rush in. Ngannou showed patience and clinched before unleashing a left hook that sparked his opponent out.
And he won’t rush in against the champion here, Stipe Miocic. “The baddest man on the planet” is another knockout specialist with a superior ground game.
The Ohio native is coming into this defence off the back of a five-bout win streak after defeating Junior Dos Santos back in May 2017.
Ngannou is incredibly the favourite at 11/20 with Miocic at 6/4. The challenger is four years younger and slightly more active.
But Miocic is just 35-years-old, with a better all-round game and as much motivation as Ngannou. The Cameroonian fighter’s time will come again.
Prediction: Miocic to win at 6/4
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing