Stipe Miocic secured a dominant victory over Francis Ngannou in their first encounter at UFC 220. Except for the first round, the fight was not even competitive. However, Francis Ngannou is still the favorite going into the rematch at UFC 260.
And the only reason for that notion has to be the knockout power of Francis Ngannou. He has secured four 1st round knockout finishes since his loss to Stipe Miocic. Ngannou can shut the lights out of any heavyweight if he connects clean. And that will be the key for Ngannou going into the rematch.
Francis Ngannou claims that he did not land anything clean against Stipe Miocic in the first fight. Though he believes that Miocic is tough he also believes he can knock him out with a better gameplan.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Francis Ngannou stated:
“I know for sure he is very tough. We will give him credit for that. I don’t think I connected a clean shot. Probably some shot that has taken some people down and he managed that very well. And that should not be a problem. I shouldn’t have been going there counting on like taking on one shot. Most of the time just(try to) break people down with multiple shots, be able to deliver as much as needed, and at the end when you get a breakdown the last shot comes come at some point.”
Are fans overlooking a huge factor in Francis Ngannou vs Stipe Miocic matchup?
The majority of the fans believe that either Nagnnou will knock out Miocic in the early rounds or Miocic will dominate Ngannou for the five rounds to secure another win. However, knocking out Stipe Miocic is way more difficult than knocking out any other heavyweights in UFC.
Stipe Miocic is the smartest heavyweight in UFC by far. He is arguably the most durable heavyweight as well. The way he made a comeback and won the fight in the fourth round after getting dominated in the first two is unheard of in the heavyweight division.
Miocic was rolling with punches and was ducking most of the strikes from Ngannou in the first fight. In the rematch, he will be faster and even more conditioned. He also hurt Ngannou with straight right hands multiple times in the fight including once in the first round. Miocic is certainly at the best of his career and it won’t be surprising if he gets the finish this time in the later rounds.