UFC 250: Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou

Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou

After two consecutive weeks of events of lesser importance in media terms, the time has come for the long-awaited  UFC 260 to take action. Like the UFC promotion  during the week, the event will be starring in the long-awaited rematch for the heavyweight belt.
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou

Stipe Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) is the name to be beaten in heavyweight all over the world in MMA. Record holder of defenses of the category belt in the UFC and currently in his second reign, the Ohio athlete practically lined up all the legitimate challengers of the category, which implies repeating some names and / or receiving rising names in the category ( honestly, not many).

If we exclude Daniel Cormier, with whom he has fought three times in a row, Miocic has shown a quality that has been at odds with the rest of the category over the past few years. Strong, fast, big, athletic, excellent boxer and great wrestler . All of this in a single package makes the Cleveland firefighter a unique specimen in the weight range up to 120 kilos, where athletes generally rely too much on a single valence and have loopholes in the game easily exploited by such a complete fighter.

At the other end of the cage will be the “Predator” Francis Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC), receiving another chance against Miocic after climbing the category for the second time. Heavy-handed knockout, big and rough are some of the labels that show why the Cameroonian has become the great terror of heavyweights in recent years, however, as stated in the previous paragraph, against Miocic the hole is a little further down. In the first fight between the two, back in January 2018, it was evident that Francis lacked polishing. Punch , strength or wingspan were not enough . Miocic moved better, was smarter, was faster, had more resources and obviously, the hand did not enter.

After defeating Miocic in defeats and starring in an embarrassing fight against Derrick Lewis in which he also defeated, Ngannou admitted that he had been a little cornered and unfocused after his first setback in a long time. It was not long before he was back on the winning track and since then, there have been four consecutive knockouts in the first round (Blaydes, Velasquez, Cigano and Jairzinho), proving that despite everything, he is still the most dangerous name in activity in this category below Stipe .

Após a primeira luta entre os dois lutadores, a sensação era de que Ngannou poderia chegar a coroa algum dia, mas precisaria melhorar um bocado em alguns aspectos. Potencial existia, tempo também. E nos últimos tempos, enquanto Miocic se ocupava com a trilogia contra DC, vimos também muito material de Ngannou treinando boxe, inclusive com o lendário Teddy Atlas. Teste mesmo, na prática, não houve, já que nenhum dos oponentes que o Predador despachou chega perto da sombra do que Stipe Miocic é.

Stipe's great triumph in the first fight was his intelligent, precise and fast movement. Playing Ngannou many times in the long distance and being a very difficult target to hit, Stipe grew more and more in the fight as the difference in physical preparation further accentuated the technical gap existing between both competitors. From the middle to the end, Miocic still found several loopholes to use his good wrestling and conduct the rest of the fight in a water bath.

To believe in a different result in this fight is to trust that Ngannou has managed to go through a very big technical polishing process in the last few years, as I personally do not believe that Miocic's game has depleted a penny in the three years that have passed since the last encounter between both entities. Francis improved? Yes for sure. But has it improved to the point where it can be faster, more effective, more precise and expose itself significantly less against who is arguably the best fighter in the history of the category? Then I don't know anymore. And honestly, my guess is not.

In my view, a victory for Ngannou still requires the Cameroonian to connect a strong and destructive blow against the champion. When dealing with an opponent like Miocic, this is always very difficult. Of course, it is not impossible, but it is also not very likely, especially because Stipe is a guy who hardly exposes himself a lot and also does not give much scope for him to be misled. Verdict: Champion retains by decision, again.


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