UFC 260 SGG, Mar. 26
The heavyweight championship rematch is upon us as UFC 260 will headline Stipe Miocic (20-3) versus Francis Ngannou (15-3). After defeating Daniel Cormier in a trilogy fight, Miocic has cemented himself at the top of the division. Ngannou is coming off of four consecutive victories in impressive fashion over fighters in which he finished in a combined 162 seconds.
Rematches are always fun to bet on. They give you the chance to 1) evaluate how the first fight went, 2) determine whether each fighter has declined or improved since then and 3) analyze how the odds of the first fight have changed for the second fight.
In their fight over three years ago, Ngannou closed as a -190 favorite. Miocic won all five rounds and retained the belt as Heavyweight champion. It seems as though people are caught up in the physique of Ngannou and his flashy knockouts. Miocic is not much of a trash talker and maybe that is the reason for him continuing to come in as an underdog every fight. The current fight odds for UFC 260 has Ngannou as a -130 favorite and Miocic as a +110 underdog.
Francis was unable to defend the takedown in their first fight and that question still looms large coming into this fight. Ngannou has not needed to show his takedown defense in many of his fights as he has had some stellar knockouts very early on. The question will be has Ngannou’s takedown defense and wrestling improved enough to stop Miocic? This is the most important question going into the rematch as I believe it will be the determining factor.
Stipe Miocic is considered the GOAT in the heavyweight decision by many. His full MMA arsenal has proven to be some of the best. Ngannou has all the power in his standup game and Francis will be looking to knock out Stipe ASAP. I believe the longer this fight goes, the better it is for Miocic. Seeing Miocic as an underdog is hard to overlook and until he shows any signs of slowing down, there is no reason to bet against him. I see this fight going 3 or 4 rounds where Miocic ultimately tires Ngannou out and finishes him.
Stipe Miocic ML +110
O/U 1.5 rds – Over (-139)
In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley will face off against Vicente Luque in a welterweight (170 lbs) fight. Woodley has lost his last three bouts and is in jeopardy of being cut by the UFC if he were to suffer a loss on Saturday night. Luque is just entering the peak years of his career and has won his last two fights. Luque is a current -250 favorite and Woodley comes in as a +200 underdog. Woodley’s age has really caught up to him and I believe will play a big role in this fight. Both fighters are going in opposite directions and I believe the odds are correct for this fight. I have Luque winning by decision as I see him dominating the fight but not enough to get a finish because of Woodley’s experience.
Vicente Luque By Decision +138
O/U 2.5 rds – Over 2.5 (-167)
Sean O’Malley will be facing Thomas Almeida in a bantamweight fight in O’Malley’s highly anticipated return from injury. O’Malley has shown signs that he could be an up and coming star in the UFC with some serious knockouts. He has the flashiness and does the trash talking to become an elite fighter. He is facing Thomas Almeida who has lost his last few fights and does not have the most impressive resume. This is a fight where O’Malley comes in as a -335 favorite and Almeida a +250 underdog. If O’Malley is back to 100% after his knee injury last year, then this should be a quick fight for him. Assuming that he is healthy, I’m leaning with O’Malley in this one as I see another one of his flashy knockouts.
Sean O’Malley by KO, TKO or DQ +130
O/U 1.5 rds – Under (+115)
Editorial credit: Andre Luiz Moreira / Shutterstock.com