Move over, Daniel Cormier. UFC 220 appears to have a new main event.
Despite light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir being set as the UFC 220 main event, it appears plans have changed. On Wednesday, MMA Junkie first reported that a hotly anticipated clash between heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and the dangerous Francis Ngannou was being targeted to top the card. With additional reports confirming the news, it appears to be a done deal. Cormier vs. Oezdemir will now serve as the Boston card’s co-main event.
With Stipe Miocic (17–2) looking at a record setting third straight title defense, there’s no question UFC 220 will be big. The heavyweight champ last fought at UFC 211 in May. There, he defeated former champ Junior dos Santos. Prior to that, he finished off challenger Alistair Overeem at UFC 206 last year. The Ohio native has won five straight, finishing all five fights with his hands. Overall, he’s 11-2 in the UFC.
Francis Ngannou has been one of the UFC’s few other bright spots in the heavyweight division. After losing names like Matt Mitrione, Roy Nelson, and Gabriel Gonzaga (the first two to Bellator, the latter to retirement) and seeing divisional stalwarts like Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, and Junior dos Santos all out for varying reasons, the herd has been considerably thinned. Ngannou (11–1), however, has been active, stopped every fighter put in front of him, and is every opponent’s nightmare: big, strong, fast, and hits like a Mack truck.
Adding to his marketability is a rags-to-riches story, his humble giant nature, and the fact that he recently set a record for punching power. During his reign of terror, he has finished all six of his UFC fights. Most recently, he briefly disconnected Alistair Overeem from the mortal plain with a thunderous uppercut.
In short: don’t bet on the UFC 220 main event going five rounds.
UFC 220 takes place in Boston, MA on January 20 at the TD Garden.