The UFC are delivering two massive championship fights tonight at UFC 220. Atop the card the heavyweights do battle to determine who is the ‘baddest man on the planet.’ Tonight’s candidates are reigning champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou.
The co-main event is for the light heavyweight championship. That pits incumbent Daniel Cormier versus the rising Volkan Oezdemir. It feels rare to have two completely fresh match-ups at the top of these two divisions, which have been dominated by familiar faces for a long time. Will the champions remained entrenched as the kings of their weight-classes or will two upstarts, who were barely known two years take the thrones?
The quality of the PPV drops off considerably after the title fights, with three fights involving just two ranked fighters. Just before the belts are decided you can see Calvin Kattar take on Shane Burgos for a shot at entering the top-15 at featherweight. Before them Gian Villante sees Francimar Barroso at 205lbs and Thomas Almeida and Rob Font face off in the bantamweight division.
The FS1 prelims include just one ranked fight; that’s Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja in the flyweight division. Also on the card is Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis (the FS1 headliner) at 145lbs, Sabah Homasi re-matching Abdul Razak Alhassan at 170lbs, and Dan Ige taking on Julio Arce at 145lbs.
There are two UFC Fight Pass early prelims tonight. That mini-card is headlined by late replacement Matt Bessette vs. Enrique Barzola at 145lbs. The first fight of the night sees Gleison Tibau return from a lengthy suspension to face Islam Makhachev in the lightweight division.
The UFC’s first pay-per-view card of 2018 takes place Saturday at TD Garden in Boston. The card features two title fights. In the co-main event, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier meets Volkan Oezdemir. In the main event, Stipe Miocic attempts to defend his heavyweight title for a record third consecutive time against Francis Ngannou. Nine fights precede the title bouts.
Following the main event, the UFC will hold the post-fight press conference for the event. The participants in the title fights are expected to take questions from the media, along with other fighters on the main card.
The post-fight press conference is expected to begin around 1:15 a.m. ET/10:15 p.m PT.
You can watch a live stream of the event right here.
The first UFC pay-per-view of the year is here, and it’s a top-heavy card. This event is being headlined by two UFC title fights: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou – arguably the best heavyweight championship fight in recent times, and Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir – a solid light heavyweight title bout. These two great fights are really the only two attractions of the main card. There are some other good matchups, but they’re not the type of fights we’re used to seeing on pay-per-view cards.
What: UFC 220
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
When: Saturday, Jan. 16. The two-fight UFC Fight Pass preliminary card begins at 7 p.m. ET, the four-fight FOX Sports 1 preliminary card begins at 8 p.m. ET, and the five-fight main card begins at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.
This is one of the best UFC heavyweight title fights in the promotion’s history, and definitely the best heavyweight championship bout booked in recent times.
Stipe Miocic has proven to be a worthy champion. Miocic is a quick heavyweight with great power behind his hands, and very solid and technical striking. Although, Miocic has gone away from his grappling a little bit in his most recent bouts, the champion is great at fighting in the clinch and possesses solid wrestling. The Cleveland native has finished his last five opponents and has defended his belt twice in the process. Miocic is on the verge of breaking the record for the most consecutive UFC title defenses at heavyweight.
But in Miocic’s way of making history stands a one of the scariest heavyweights of all time – Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou is not nearly as a experienced as Miocic, but he has an insane amount of power in his strikes, and seems to improve every time he steps in the Octagon. Most of Ngannou’s past opponents have been far more experienced than him, yet they have all fallen to his knockout power (or kimura).
Ngannou has yet to be tested in the UFC. But from what we’ve seen, Ngannou is a competent striker that appears to have good takedown defense. All those attributes are enhanced by his athleticism and raw strength.
This fight is tough to pick. Not only because both fighters are feared, powerful strikers that can end the fight at any given moment, but also because Ngannou’s skill set still remains unknown – at least a part of it. This fight can go either way, but I have a hard time seeing anyone defeating Ngannou. I find the Cameroonian far too powerful for anyone in the division. Miocic might do well at dodging punches, but I see him eventually getting hit. And almost every time Ngannou connects, it’s game over.
MMA Fighting has UFC 220 results for the Miocic vs. Ngannou fight card Jan. 20, plus live coverage from Boston, and live UFC 220 Twitter updates.
In the main event, UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic aims for his third straight title defense against challenger Francis Ngannou, who has won 10 straight fights.
Daniel Cormier aims to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against hard-hitting Volkan Oezdemir, who has 11 of his 15 career wins via knockout.
Check out UFC 220 results below.
Main card (PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou
Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos
Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso
Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
Undercard (FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET)
Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET)
Enrique Barzola vs. Matt Bessette
Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau