After Ngannou’s “uppercut from hell” sent Overeem into oblivion at UFC 218, a title shot against champ Stipe Miocic is the only thing that makes sense in the heavyweight division. The UFC has already made Miocic vs Ngannou official, and these two heavyweights will square off against each other at UFC 220 on Jan 20, 2018.
I do like the attention that Ngannou has been getting after the Overeem knockout, but it is absolutely ridiculous when people say that Stipe doesn’t stand a chance against him. This is Stipe Miocic, people. Arguably, one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in my opinion. Ngannou might be the hot property now but look at the scalps that Stipe has taken over these years. There is no way that Stipe can be counted out of this fight. Let me give you some reasons.
Why Is Miocic Still Scary?
People who doubt Miocic must take a look at his record (or some of his fights) before ruling him out against Ngannou. Ngannou’s quick rise to prominence was after his first-round knockout victories over Arlovski and Overeem. Miocic holds the same record too, or I would say an even better one. Miocic also holds the scalps of many more top heavyweights than Ngannou ever faced.
One distinct advantage that Miocic holds over Ngannou is his experience in championship rounds. Ngannou has never seen the third round in his entire fight career. Though this is a great (and scary) record, nobody has any idea of how he would do if the fight goes well past the third round. Will his huge frame cause him to gas out quick? Or Can he pace himself well for five full rounds? No one can say for sure at the moment.
Stipe, on the other hand, has been battle tested multiple times in his career. He has a tough chin to take solid punches. Despite suffering a close decision loss, his 5-round brawl with Junior is proof that he is indeed built for championship rounds. Though not among the elite grapplers, Stipe has a decent ground game. Ngannou’s ground game, on the other hand, is yet to be seen by anyone. The thing about Ngannou is that there is a lot more to be known about this guy on how he faces adversities.
[Ngannou’s knockout power is terrifying, but Miocic is an equally scary heavyweight.]
Also, don’t forget the massive knock out power of the champ. He has first-round knockout victories in his last four fights – Arlovski, Werdum, Overeem, and Junior. These are not chumps my dear friends. Without a doubt, Stipe will be the toughest guy Ngannou has ever faced and let’s see who connects first.
Most people are of the opinion that Miocic vs Ngannou is not going to the second round. But, I have a feeling that this bout will certainly be tougher for both fighters.
Miocic vs Ngannou: An epic fight in the making?
No one can say for sure whether this will be a full on 5-round war or a first round KO. No matter what, I hope this will be a great heavyweight matchup. Probably, the greatest we may have seen in the recent times in this division. I truly don’t have a favorite in this fight. Ngannou is right on top at the moment and riding the hype train very well, but both are equally scary fighters and I would give them equal chances in this fight.
Ngannou’s rise in the heavyweight division has been meteoric in the last one year. So far, he has lived up to the hype with a 6-0 record in the UFC. He has finished all his opponents in the UFC within the first two rounds.
Stipe is chasing a major legacy here. There has never been a heavyweight champion in the UFC who has defended the belt thrice in a row. If Stipe defends his belt one more time, he has the right to stake a claim as the greatest champion of the UFC heavyweight division. Standing in the way right now is the scariest heavyweight on the current roster – Francis Ngannou.
Irrespective of the outcome, Miocic vs Ngannou is a hallmark fight for both fighters. I expect a brawl at UFC 220. Let’s hope that these two knockout artists put on the performance of their lifetimes.