The UFC’s first pay-per-view of 2018 is a big one.
UFC 220 will feature an astounding clash between two of the ‘Baddest Men on the Planet’ as Stipe Miocic meets Francis Ngannou in the main event. Miocic and Ngannou will battle for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The main event is backed by an exciting co-main event as Daniel Cormier defends his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against rising Volkan Oezdemir.
Francis Ngannou’s rise to the top is about as destructive as they come. Since his debut in December 2015, Ngannou has knocked out five of his six opponent’s and submitted the only other man to not fall victim to his fists. “The Predator” really gained traction when he brutally knocked out Alistair Overeem at UFC 218 in December. Now, Ngannou gets set to challenge for Stipe Miocic’s title.
Miocic’s reign as heavyweight champion began in May 2016 when he stopped Fabricio Werdum in the first round at UFC 198. Since then, he’s cleared every top-ranked contender in Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos. Next in line is the rising Francis Ngannou and a victory against “The Predator” might just cement Miocic as one of the greatest heavyweight’s of all time.
Prediction: Stipe Miocic via KO/TKO – Round 2
In the co-main event, another rising star in the UFC will challenge for a championship. Volkan Oezdemir has stormed through the light heavyweight division with consecutive wins against Ovince Saint-Preux, Misha Cirkunov, and Jimi Manuwa. In particular, it was the method that Oezdemir finished Cirkunov and Manuwa that really put him right in place here as the top challenger for Cormier’s title. Oezdemir finished Cirkunov in just 28 seconds before stopping Manuwa in 22 seconds, earning his nickname “No Time”.
Standing across from him, though, is the exceptional Daniel Cormier, who has defeated all opponent’s not named Jon Jones. With wins over Anthony Johnson (twice), Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, and Dan Henderson, Cormier is a force to be reckoned with and plans to show that he is many steps above the level of Oezdemir.
Prediction: Daniel Cormier via Submission – Round 2
Also on the main card, Calvin Kattar will face Shane Burgos in a featherweight battle.
After defeating Andre Fili in his UFC debut in July last year, Kattar is boosted straight into the main card of a pay-per-view. Entering as a significant underdog vs. Fili, Kattar outworked him for three rounds to win a unanimous decision.
His opponent, Shane Burgos, is undefeated in his ten fight career and has since picked up three consecutive victories in the UFC since joining in December 2016. With wins over Tiago Trator, Charles Rosa, and Godofredo Pepey, Burgos looks to keep the streak alive against Kattar.
Prediction: Shane Burgos via decision
Gian Villante will face Francimar Barroso in a clash between two light heavyweight’s.
While on paper this doesn’t seem like a pay-per-view quality fight, it could be unsuspectingly enjoyable considering that both Villante and Barroso have plenty to fight for. Villante steps in after losing two in a row to Mauricio Rua and Patrick Cummins, while Francimar Barroso enters this one after losing to Aleksander Rakic.
Prediction: Gian Villante via KO/TKO – Round 1
In what is sure to be one of the most exciting fights on the main card of UFC 220, Thomas Almeida looks to stop Rob Font in a bantamweight fight.
After working through Matt Schnell and Douglas Andrade, Rob Font’s streak was ended by Pedro Munhoz at UFC Fight Night 119 late last year. Meanwhile, Thomas Almeida, who was once considered one of the hottest prospects of the division has since lost two of his last three bouts – albeit against top quality opposition in Cody Garbrandt and Jimmie Rivera.
Prediction: Thomas Almeida via KO/TKO – Round 3
While the UFC marketing team might be at full-steam for the Francis Ngannou train, it seems like many are forgetting how dominant of a champion that Stipe Miocic has been.
Of course, Ngannou’s win over Overeem was truly outstanding and he is deserving of the ‘hype’. But, there is no way that Francis should enter this championship fight with Stipe Miocic as a moderate betting favorite. As with all heavyweight fights, it really only takes one strike to end the fight and Miocic has a proven track record of being able to dish out damage just as well as he takes it.
Miocic enters this contest after stopping Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, and Junior dos Santos all in the first round. He’ll successfully defend his championship for the third consecutive time this weekend at UFC 220.
Bet: Stipe Miocic to win (+165)
UFC 220 Fight Card
UFC 220 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (11:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, January 20.
Pay-per-view (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)
- Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou
- Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir
- Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos
- Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso
- Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)
- Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis
- Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
- Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
- Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce
Fight Pass Prelims
UFC Fight Pass (6:30 pm ET / 11:30 pm GMT)
- Matt Bessette vs. Enrique Barzola
- Maryna Moroz vs. Jamie Moyle
- Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau