Since the last time they fought back in 2018 both Francis Ngannou and champion Stipe Miocic have been very busy. Bringing the anticipation for this heavyweight rematch to an all-time high both men entering at an even higher level than their first matchup.
After suffering back-to-back defeats Ngannou has won four fights in a row in a combined total time of two mins and 32 seconds devastating top heavyweight contenders left and right. Miocic on the other hand lost his belt after the longest title reign in UFC history in his first fight with Daniel Cormier only to regain it and defend it in their second and third matchups in an all-time great trilogy. Miocic doesn’t expect anything different this time no matter how much better Ngannou has gotten Miocic even believes he is a very talented fighter and will become heavyweight champ eventually.
“You know they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I feel like I’ve learned a lot,” Miocic said to ESPN. “I’m getting better each day thanks to my coaches. He’s getting better too. He’s still young and he’s hungry, and he wants something that I have. Unfortunately, I’m the champion and I’m not giving it up. He won’t be champ until I’m done.”
Ngannou on the other hand believes there is one major thing that will differ in the rematch and that’s his experience now vs then
“I didn’t spend enough time in the Octagon to have that experience,” Ngannou said to MMAFighting.com. “Even though it was almost four years since I’d been doing the sport but I didn’t spend enough time in the octagon to have that experience. I think in one night I covered more than what I’d been spending in the octagon for the rest of my career. Some people get here when they’ve been having athlete lives for a long time. Maybe wrestling, maybe doing some different sport at school, at college, but I never got into that stuff. Growing up I was just finding my way to survive and then I end up finding myself somewhere that I never been there so the experience was just crazy.”
Will the experience be enough for Ngannou to make up the difference or will Miocic’s reign and run as the best heavyweight of all-time continue? With light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones waiting for the winner the stakes continue to grow even higher.
Francis Ngannou enters the bout with a pro record of 15-3(10-2 UFC) riding a 4 fight winning streak.
Stipe Miocic enters the bout with a pro record of 20-3(15-3 UFC) riding a 2 fight winning streak.
The betting line at the time of this article has it near even with Miocic at (+100) and Ngannou closing at (-120).
My prediction: Honestly I been going back and forth on which way this fight will go, I think it’s either a quick KO for Francis or an almost carbon copy of the first fight for Stipe a dominant decision. My gut tells me the first round starts with both men feeling each other out but Stipe will begin to engage in exchange for where he gets caught with a big right cross putting him out and crowning a new champ.