UFC 260 betting preview: Can Francis Ngannou's power overcome Stipe Miocic's sheer ability?

Kevin Iole
·Combat columnist
·3 min read

At UFC 220, Stipe Miocic handled Francis Ngannou. I was going to say Miocic handled him easily, and though Miocic won all five rounds, it was hardly an easy task.

But Miocic’s wrestling, conditioning and more diverse game led him to the dominant victory over the UFC’s heaviest hitter on Jan. 20, 2018.

The narrative going into their rematch on Saturday in the main event of UFC 260 at Apex for the heavyweight title is that Ngannou is a different fighter than he was at that point.

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And while that is undoubtedly true, all Miocic did since then was go 2-1 in a series with Daniel Cormier to prove, conclusively, that he’s the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

Yet, heading into the rematch, Ngannou is the betting favorite at BetMGM. Ngannou is -135 to win, and also -135 to win by KO/TKO/DQ/submission. Interestingly, he’s +1400 to win by decision.

Miocic is +110 to win and is +400 to win by decision.

It’s always a risk to bet against Ngannou, because no one hits harder than he does and it doesn’t take a clean shot from him to end a fight. So, even in a dud of a fight like he had against Miocic at UFC 220, Ngannou is dangerous for all five minutes of each round.

Ngannou wasn’t physically prepared for the first fight and that has to be considered in the context of the rematch. By all accounts, Ngannou has worked extremely hard to be ready.

But Miocic is simply a better overall fighter, and a better athlete. He hits hard himself, he has a good gas tank and he’s a very smart fighter. And while he was knocked out in the first of his series with Cormier, he’s also shown a solid chin.

As a result, I like Miocic to win this fight. I think you’ll see him use his jab and mix in a lot of kicks, trying to break down the big man’s legs and take his power from underneath him. Miocic will also rely on his wrestling.

There are thus a lot of appealing betting options on Miocic at BetMGM.

I will take Miocic +110 to win, I’ll take the +220 and bet the fight goes over 3.5 rounds, and I’ll take the +350 and bet the fight goes the distance.

I also like Miocic by decision/technical decision at +400. That’s four plays at $100 each, and in the best case scenario if Miocic wins by decision, I’ll make a $1,080 profit. That sounds like a good deal to me given I’ll have the best heavyweight in the world trying to do it for me.

Other UFC 260 bets

  • Tyron Woodley +210 to win over Vicente Luque, who is -275.

  • Hannah Goldy -110 to win over Jessica Penne, who is also -110.

  • William Knight -115 to win over Alonzo Menifield, who is -105.

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