Will Miocic Become Prey At UFC 220?

UFC 220 takes place this Saturday, January 20th at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. This is a very top-heavy card that sees both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles on the line in the main and co main event.

Is Francis Ngannou the "scariest man in the history" of MMA? Listen, to be fair to everyone else, Joe Rogan has been known to be a little flippant, a little generous with his praise in the lead-up to a fight. But, given what we've seen during the short, violent, bloody career of Ngannou, he may not be too far off the mark. Whoever you're cheering for in this one, you've got to have respect for Ngannou, who only five years ago was living on the street and had never practiced MMA a day in his life. What a journey to the top. There's no chance I'm not riding with Francis Ngannou. 

That's not to take anything away from the champ, Stipe Miocic, who's won five straight fights via knockout. If Miocic is able to successfully defend his title, he would set the heavyweight record for most consecutive title defenses (3). Miocic doesn't exactly have the highlight reel that his opponent possesses, but he's no paper champion. That being said, the reported word around Vegas is that the books have taken some serious sharp money on Ngannou and have had to move the line accordingly. Take all these types of reports with a grain of salt. Still, it's something to keep in mind.

The co-main event has the long-time light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier facing off against his Danish challenger Volkan Oezdemir. As much as I'd like to ride with the Dane simply based on his name alone, I think you've got to go with Daniel Cormier. Cormier had won his previous four bouts before facing off against the infamous Jon "Bones" Jones, who won the match but was eventually disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance (again). Oezdemir is arguably the UFC's top breakout star of 2017 after dispatching three challengers (St. Preux, Cirkunov & Manuwa) in the span of twelve short months.

That's not to say that Oezdemir's magical run hasn't come with its own issues. The Dane was arrested in Fort Lauderdale just a month ago and charged with aggravated battery (and here I thought Fort Lauderdale was all shuffleboard, snow birds and Bingo). The charges apparently will not affect this fight, but it's reported the UFC took this off the top of the card as a precaution. Cormier is undoubtedly the heavy favorite in this one and for good reason. He's more experienced and is looking to cement his legacy. He'll have to hand Oezdemir his first UFC loss in order to do it.

Don't forget to check out some of the great under card matchups (I specifically have my eye on Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos), where there will be some value on both sides. Either way, you better be ready to stay up late because you're not going to want to miss the main event. This could be the best fight of the year.