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UFC 260: Miocic vs Ngannou 2 - Mar 27 🇺🇸


wandshogun09
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Saturday 27th March at the APEX in Sin City...

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PPV MAIN CARD 
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou - Heavyweight Title

Tyron Woodley vs Vicente Luque

Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley

Gillian Robertson vs Miranda Maverick

Jamie Mullarkey vs Khama Worthy

ESPN PRELIMS  
Alonzo Menifield vs Fabio Cherant

Jared Gooden vs Abubakar Nurmagomedov

Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Modestas Bukauskas

Shane Young vs Omar Morales

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Abu Azaitar vs Marc-Andre Barriault 

 

BIGGEST BADDEST REMATCH!

Obviously, there’s more to be added yet but this is next month. There’s already been some talk of the main event elsewhere so we might as well get the ball rolling. Co-main’s quality as well. I’ll update this post as things change and the card takes shape, falls apart, takes shape, falls apart and so on.

 

 

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Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2. The big rematch is nearly upon us. I’m really looking forward to this. The Heavyweight division gets shat on a lot for its lack of depth, and rightly so in a lot of cases, but the top few guys are a force to be reckoned with and these two have been the ones dominating the scene above all others over the past few years.

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The first fight went down at UFC 220 back in January 2018 in Boston. The hype on Ngannou going in was pretty ridiculous but it was kind of understandable at the same time. He was 11-1 going in, on a 10 fight winning streak, all finishes, and he’d just laid waste to Alistair Overeem in brutal fashion. He’d also stopped Andrei Arlovski and Curtis Blaydes during that run but the Reem KO was the one that sent it over the edge and bagged him the title shot. Stipe was the reigning champ and had gone through the likes of Werdum, Dos Santos, Overeem, Hunt etc. A real badass. But his accomplishments got pretty much overlooked going into this one. All the talk seemed to revolve around Ngannou and his knockout punch. My main memory of this is Dana White at the press conference giving it the hard sell jizzing himself dry talking about Big Francis’ power.

“Francis Ngannou has the world record for the most powerful punch. His punch is the equivalent to 96 horsepower, which is equal to getting hit by a Ford Escort going as fast as it can. And it’s more powerful than a 12lb sledgehammer swung full force from overhead. HOLY SHIT!” - Dana White

Stipe didn’t look particularly impressed...

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😂

The night arrived and all that power ended up meaning little as Ngannou mostly hit thin air and got outworked, outstruck, outgrappled and outclassed over 25 gruelling and miserable minutes.

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I’m going purely off memory, I don’t think I’ve watched the fight since it aired live. But as I remember it, aside from a couple of close calls, Stipe did a fine job nullifying the early threat of Ngannou and bossed the rest of the fight. Pretty sure I scored it a shutout on the night and officially it was scored 50-44 across the board. Stipe had conquered one of the scariest Heavyweights ever and made it look quite easy.

Since that fight, Stipe‘s fought 3 times, all against Daniel Cormier. A really strong trilogy and Stipe ultimately won it 2-1. He’s really solidified himself as the man at Heavyweight at this point.

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What other Heavy has done what he’s done when it comes to quality wins, quantity of title defences and the manner in which he’s won most of his big fights? He’s the best ever for me. For Ngannou it was back to the drawing board. And it wasn’t plain sailing.

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He looked awful against Derrick Lewis. This was supposed to be Ngannou’s big rebound fight after the Miocic loss. It looked like a can’t miss slobberknocker on paper yet they both did sod all. Lewis won just by looking slightly less shite. It was one of them. Ngannou looked really gunshy and at this point there were serious doubts if he’d ever get his confidence and swagger back. But since then he’s bulldozed Blaydes again, and done Cain, JDS and Rozenstruik quick time. Those 4 fights lasted a combined 2:42. I mean, fuck me. It’s all well and good people criticising him for his lack of cage time and saying he’s a one trick pony or whatever but these aren’t bums he’s been blowing through in seconds. People can talk about weathering the storm all they want but it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? The hyperbole gets silly some times no doubt but at the same time Ngannou’s killshot is real. There’s very little margin for error there.

Here we are. It’s hard to pick against Stipe for me. I’d probably like Ngannou’s chances against any of the rest of the current crop of Heavies at the moment. If Stipe wasn’t around, I think Big Francis would be your champ. But Stipe’s still here and he’s made of different stuff. He’s Ngannou kryptonite.

“Francis is a super tough guy. He’s been knocking everyone out again and he’s on a tear, and unfortunately he’s going to have to fight me again. That’s the bad part. He’s definitely gotten better, but so have I. I know I’m getting old, but I’ve gotten wiser and I’ve got a few new tricks up my sleeve. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, which is a lie. I’ve learned a lot. It’s the same outcome. I’m going to walk out with the belt around my waist. And still.” - Stipe Miocic

Ngannou’s still a very real threat. I don’t care how many rounds he lost to Stipe last time, if you’re locked in a cage with that bastard you’re never out of danger. Even Stipe. And just because Stipe absorbed a couple of bombs and avoided the rest doesn’t mean he can’t get clipped with one this time. But logically, Stipe’s winning this. He’s just got too many tools and Ngannou really hasn’t shown any new wrinkles to his game since the first fight. Which has been fine up to now because he hasn’t needed anything but his power. But if he hasn’t been working his arse off to close the holes in his game since 2018 then this’ll probably look like a re-run of the first meeting. It’ll be edge of the seat stuff regardless though.

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There’s this extra layer of intrigue this time as well. All signs and indications are pointing towards Jon Jones challenging the winner of this fight. Dana’s already pretty much confirmed that’s the plan and Jones is certainly looking like a man who’s not cutting back to 205 again anytime soon. His Heavyweight debut and he’s going straight in with one of these two monsters. Can’t stand the prick but you’ve got to hand it to him. It’s a ballsy move. Granted he’ll be getting paid well for it. But it’s a move he really didn’t need to make. His legacy as the GOAT at 205 is already cemented. He wants the challenge and you have to respect that.

 

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Tyron Woodley vs Vicente Luque. I don’t know what to make of this one at all. What’s left where Woodley is concerned anymore? In fairness, he’s lost 3 on the trot but it was Usman, Burns and Covington. That’s probably the 3 best Welters in the game at the moment for me. It’s not that he lost to those guys, it’s that he wasn’t even competitive. He just has the look of a fighter who’s done at the top level. But...this isn’t the top level. I rate Luque, I think he’s great to watch, he’s tough, he’s dangerous and I think he’s gone a tad overlooked at times. But this is unquestionably a step back in levels for Woodley so it’ll be interesting to see if Woodley looks any better here. If he’s as shot as some say then Luque could hurt him here. But at the same time, we haven’t really seen Luque up against many wrestlers. Don’t have a clue on this fight. Woodley is such an unknown quantity at this stage it’s almost impossible to predict. He’ll be 39 this year, he’s had a great run and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s declining now. He should at least be competitive against this level of opposition though.

 

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Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this card so far. Should be all kinds of fun. Almeida at one point was one of the most exciting prospects on the roster. He went 21-0 with 20 finishes at the start of his career before a loss to Cody Garbrandt derailed him. He’s never quite got back on track since and injury layoffs have played a big part in that. But he’s still entertaining to watch. He’s coming off 3 consecutive losses now though. I think it’s clear what the thinking is. O’Malley is coming off that TKO loss to Marlon Vera and I think it’s obvious the UFC see this as a fight to get O’Malley back in the win column. If that’s the plan, I’d like to see Almeida scupper it. I’ve kind of done a 180 on Suga Sean. Really liked him at first but he’s increasingly coming off as a bit of a dick more recently. Plus it’d be a shame to see Almeida fully fizzle out like Barao did. I think this’ll be an action packed fight and has potential to be something better than that if Almeida is coming in to make a statement.

 

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Gillian Robertson vs Miranda Maverick could be fun actually. At 9-5, Robertson probably isn’t going to be making any real waves but she’s usually good to watch all the same. She’s coming off a points loss to Taila Santos in December but I rate Santos as a real darkhorse in the Flyweight division so no shame in losing to her. Robertson’s still young as well, maybe she can turn the corner. She trains at ATT and is a BJJ black-belt under Din Thomas so it’s not like the tools aren’t there. I think her aggression works for and against her at times though. Maverick is 23 years old with a record of 8-2 and she’s won her last 4 on the bounce. She beat up and stopped Liana Jojua in a round on the Khabib-Gaethje undercard in October. I remember her looking a bit of a handful in that one and, like Robertson, she’s very aggressive. It’s a nothing fight in the big picture but I can see it being a lively one.

 

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Jamie Mullarkey vs Khama Worthy. This could be good. Mullarkey’s no world beater or title threat but he made a fan of me instantly with his batshit UFC debut war with Brad Riddell in late 2019. He’s 26 years old, Australian with a 12-4 record. Exciting to watch but he’s coming off a couple of losses now. He’s winless since signing with the UFC. And they’re not exactly doing him any favours with this matchup. Worthy looks like a bit of an animal. Don’t let the crappy 16-7 record fool you. Most of the losses came early in his career. He was on a 7 fight winning streak and put Luis Pena and Devonte Smith away in his first two UFC fights. His rise hit a brick wall in September though, when Ottman Azaitar blasted him in a round. Azaitar’s a killer though. This’ll be Worthy’s attempt to rebound and Mullarkey’s back is against the wall too. 

 

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Alonzo Menifield vs Fabio Cherant. This one’s been cobbled together last minute. Menifield was originally scheduled to face William Knight here but Knight got taken out by COVID. He’s been rebooked in another fight in April now. In steps Octagon newcomer Fabio Cherant. He’s 26 years old and fights out of the Boston area, 7-1 with 5 submissions and he won the vacant LFA Light Heavyweight strap in February. That’s about the extent of what I can find on him, although he was on the wrong end of a highlight reel flying knee knockout from Aleksa Camur on DWCS in 2019. Menifield is someone I really liked the look of when he first came into the UFC. He started his career perfect, going 9-0, all finishes. He stopped Paul Craig and Vinicius Moreira in his first two UFC fights and was looking like a potential future player at 205. It’s all gone tits up though. He lost a decision to Devin Clark in June last year and it was a bit of a revelation. He faded pretty badly as the fight wore on. Then he got sparked by OSP in his next fight. Not good. He seems a cool guy in interviews and stuff so I’d like to see him bounce back and do well. But based on his last couple of fights there’s some real work to be done. Knight dropping out might’ve been a blessing in disguise, to be honest. Coming off consecutive losses, it seemed a bit rough on Menifield to be chucking him in there with a tank like that. But I don’t know enough about Cherant to know if this is better or worse for Menifield.

 

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Jared Gooden vs Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Worth checking out. Not too familiar with Gooden but he’s 17-5 and came into the UFC late last year off the back of 3 straight stoppage wins. His Octagon debut didn’t go to plan though and he lost a decision to Alan Jouban at UFC 255 in November. Abubakar Nurmagomedov is another cousin of Khabib. He’s 15-3-1 and has fought in WSOF/PFL quite a bit. Made his UFC debut in November 2019 on a card in Moscow, and got submitted by David Zawada in a round. I very vaguely remember that but Abubakar is the least hyped and looks the least promising of Khabib’s cousins. Umar and Usman are the real prospects of the Nurmagomedov clan.

 

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Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Modestas Bukauskas. Could be decent. I don’t see either making any waves at 205 but neither have bored me in the limited footage I’ve seen of both so far. Oleksiejczuk is Polish, 14-4-1 with 11 finishes, mostly knockouts, mostly early. He hasn’t beat anyone that good but he’s a bit of a scrapper and goes for the kill. Bukauskas might have a bit more upside, to be fair. He’s Lithuanian, 11-3 with 10 finishes. He got put away but Jim Crute last time out but was on a 7 fight streak before that. Alright fight for what it is.

 

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Shane Young vs Omar Morales. This could be fun. I don’t see either really going too far in the Featherweight division but they’ve both been pretty entertaining to watch so far. Young is from New Zealand, 13-5 with 10 finishes, went the distance in a losing effort against Volkanovski back in 2017. He caused a bit of a stir before his last fight at UFC 253, when he did the Haka and left Dana hanging waiting for a handshake...

😂

Unfortunately for him, he got wiped out by Ludovit Klein on the show but Klein looks like he might be a bit of a beast so no shame there. He’s up against Omar Morales here. A 35 year old Venezuelan with a record of 10-1. He’s coming off the first loss of his career against Giga Chikadze in October.

 

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Abu Azaitar vs Marc-Andre Barriault. Could be decent. Abu Azaitar is the older brother of Ottman Azaitar who made UFC headlines recently for violating the quarantine rules on Fight Island and getting himself sacked as a result. The absolute plum. He was really exciting in his couple of UFC fights as well and looked like someone well worth keeping an eye on. He’s pissed it all away. You’d hope Abu’s got a wiser head on him but it’s just been recently announced that he failed FOUR tests with USADA! They suspended him 7 months but it was dated back to August so it’ll be up in time for this card. Anyway, Abu doesn’t look as good a prospect as his brother but he doesn’t sound too shabby. He’s 14-2-1 with 8 finishes. Stopped Jack Marshman in just 34 seconds on a Cage Warriors show back in 2014. And he beat Vitor Miranda in his UFC debut. But that was in 2018 and he hasn’t fought since through injuries and probably more drug test shit. I mean, Jesus Christ, these Azaitars just seem like more hassle than they’re worth, don’t they? Barriault is from Quebec, Canada with a record of 11-4-0-1. Former ‘champ champ’ at 185 and 205 for the TKO promotion. He’s had a nightmare UFC run so far though. Lost his first 3 fights, finally got a win in June but then that got overturned to a NC. Why? USADA again. Pair of dodgy bastards these two.

 

That’s all folks. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Never thought I'd see "Wollongong" written on the UKFF. That's where I live! Of course, I didn't attend Wollongong Wars because I'm always late to the party on these kind of things, didn't even know Australia had a MMA scene for the longest time. UFC is ridiculously popular here but the local MMA scene gets zero coverage. But I'm Team Volk all the way here. He's attracted so much hate over those Holloway fights. I can see where people are coming from on the second fight, even as a Volko fan that decision was kind of dodgy. Lots of people trying and claim that he shouldn't have won the first fight either. I'm not having that. It wasn't the most jaw-dropping fight, but Alex won that easily with his leg kick gameplan. I'm hoping he scores a big finish against Ortega- even though I really like Ortega, I want to see Volkanovski get a statement victory just to shut people up.

And we have the heavyweight and possibly Suga Sean's hype train derailed for good. A loaded show indeed!

Edited by Shane O' Mac Version 2
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Yeh Volkanovski has become a heel in this whole thing. Its quite shit because he has 2 straight wins (and i had him winning both) over the greatest Featherweight of all time and hes getting no credit for it. He's the new Benson Henderson.

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49 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

Why's Volkanovski a heel? He doesn't strike me as having done anything wrong? Bendo was a heel because of his constant Bible-thumping.

Because a lot of people felt Holloway was robbed by the judges in their second fight. When in reality, it was a very close fight that could have reasonably been scored either way. 

It's a shame, because both Holloway and Volk are two of the finest fighters in the sport. Only Usman, Izzy and Khabib have operated on their level in recent years. Both deserve admiration. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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I hate stuff like that. As wand often says, someone losing a close fight by decision isn't a robbery, and it's certainly not the winner's fault if it was. Has anyone, in the history of professional combat sports, where career and earnings are significantly affected by wins and losses, ever forfeited a decision win, even one that was dodgy? Obviously, I don't know for certain, but somehow I highly doubt it. And in Volkanovski's case, there's even less case for him to think so, because he fought a good fucking fight.

Regardless of whether they thought Holloway should've won or not, calling it a robbery is unreasonable, and stacks the deck - this version of Holloway will lose rarely, and, the level he's operating at, when he does lose, it will most likely be a close-run thing. He's not champ any more, so even the "champion's privilege" doesn't apply (not that it should ever, really).

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1 hour ago, Carbomb said:

Why's Volkanovski a heel? He doesn't strike me as having done anything wrong? Bendo was a heel because of his constant Bible-thumping.

Yeah, not for anything he'd done. Simply for winning a razor thin fight, doesn't help that Holloway so loved. 

Agree on Bendo to a degree too, but i think he was more disliked for irking out close decisions against fan favorites rather than thumping the bible.

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5 hours ago, Carbomb said:

Why's Volkanovski a heel? He doesn't strike me as having done anything wrong? Bendo was a heel because of his constant Bible-thumping.

Did he fight with a tooth pick concealed in his mouth or did one of his corner hand it to him after his fights? Bendo, I mean. Everyone knows that toothpicks are only cool on Razor Ramon. 

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7 minutes ago, Panhead said:

Did he fight with a tooth pick concealed in his mouth or did one of his corner hand it to him after his fights? Bendo, I mean. Everyone knows that toothpicks are only cool on Razor Ramon. 

Ah, that was the other bit too. Yeh, more like Bellendo.

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Just now, Carbomb said:

Ah, that was the other bit too. Yeh, more like Bellendo.

I wasn't sure if I'd imagined it. I don't even understand the logistics of it. Might see if I can get some toothpicks at Morrison's tomorrow and try squeeze one in with my mouth guard for when I'm sleeping. I reckon Mrs Panhead will be dead impressed. 

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7 minutes ago, Panhead said:

I wasn't sure if I'd imagined it. I don't even understand the logistics of it. Might see if I can get some toothpicks at Morrison's tomorrow and try squeeze one in with my mouth guard for when I'm sleeping. I reckon Mrs Panhead will be dead impressed. 

Yeh, more like Pinhead, eh? Eh?

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I thought he said that a while back? Think he pretty much confirmed it to the media after an event quite recently. I think as soon as Jones relinquished the 205 belt, the writing was on the wall as long as him and the UFC could get past whatever the hurdle was in the negotiations. And I think Dana confirmed that was the case and they were ‘in a good place’ a few months ago.

It’s a good time for Jones to make the move because they need him at Heavyweight. It’s not as bad as the Tim Sylvia days but the HW division now is lacking in quality and depth more for me now than it has at any point since about 2008ish. And I don’t think Jones has completely closed the door on a 205 return either. You have to think if Adesanya beats Blachowicz in a few weeks then the buzz for a potential Adesanya vs Jones fight will pick up steam. No doubt Izzy will call him out post-fight. IF he gets by Jan. Very interesting times ahead for Jones. Could be the spark he’s kind of been missing in some of his recent fights. The HW move especially is something he seems fired up about. And we haven’t really seen a fired up Jones since the Gustafsson rematch IMO. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC 260: Miocic vs Ngannou 2 - Mar 27 🇺🇸

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