The first UFC PPV of the year goes down in Boston when UFC 220 Happens into the TD Garden on January 20.
The top of the card includes both name conflicts, as Stipe Miocic tries to derail the hype train of Francis Ngannou and Daniel Cormier seems to establish there are levels vs Volkan Oezdemir.
After those 2 occasions, many casual fans likely will not know another fighter on this card. Fortunately, I do and I’m here to help you recognize the struggles and maybe pad your bankroll.
Miocic has assembled his game around his world boxing skills. He always probes together with his long jab, as he waits for his chance to counter. That being said, Miocic could be better if he is fighting in a phone booth with more energy in his brief punches than most humans have, period. In addition, the reigning champion is a former D1 wrestler that has adapted his personality excellently to MMA. Generally, these skills are used defensively but Miocic may also use them to wear down opponents. If Miocic has one enormous negative, it is his defense. He’s got a terrible tendency to take a hit to give a hit.
Ngannou is basically the epitome of physical development. “The Predator” is a mountain of a guy with an 83-inch reach and maybe the hardest natural hitting power I’ve ever noticed. A lot of individuals point to his ability and natural athleticism but Ngannou’s consciousness and feel when to counter-strike is that of somebody well beyond his years. The grappling match is still raw technically but his normal ability helps him bully his opponents from the clinch. The actual question is if Ngannou has the capability to get off of his back when he gets pulled down from an elite wrestler.
If you should ask me who the fighter is, I’d say Miocic. And I hate not backing a champion as an underdog. However, his inclination to carry unnecessary punches is a recipe for failure vs Ngannou. 1 minor error by Miocic means this fight is finished and that feels like a”when” instead of an”if.”