UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2 Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2021

UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2 Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    UFC 260 features one of the best fights the organization can make right now, with a rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight championship serving as the main event. 

    Miocic is one of the most successful champions in the division's history. With a win over Ngannou, two wins over Daniel Cormier and four total title defenses, he has remained the holder of a belt that is notoriously difficult to maintain. 

    A rematch with Ngannou is an opportunity for the Cameroonian contender to show he's grown or that his power is inevitable with five more rounds to land a knockout blow. 

    A welterweight fight between Vicente Luque and Tyron Woodley serves as the co-main event. Luque will attempt to break into the top tier of the division, while Woodley will look to break a three-fight losing streak. 

    Sean O'Malley will also make his return from his first UFC loss on the card. He draws the always-dangerous Thomas Almeida in a fun bantamweight matchup. 

    Here's a look at the complete offering and schedule for the March 27 card. 

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Main Card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)

    • Stipe Miocic (c) +110 (bet $100 to win $110) vs. Francis Ngannou -130 (bet $100 win $76.92) — heavyweight championship fight
    • Tyron Woodley +200 vs. Vicente Luque -250
    • Sean O'Malley -335 vs. Thomas Almeida +250
    • Gillian Robertson +134 vs. Miranda Maverick -167
    • Jamie Mullarkey +110 vs. Khama Worthy -137

    Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+ at  8 p.m. ET)

    • Alonzo Menifield -286 vs. Fabio Cherant +220
    • Jared Gooden +195  vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov -250
    • Modestas Bukauskas +135 vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk -167
    • Shane Young +145 vs. Omar Morales -182

    Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m. ET)

    • Marc-Andre Barriault -124 vs. Abu Azaitar +100

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Miocic Wears Down Ngannou Again

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Francis Ngannou is part-Rocky villain, part-inspiring rags-to-riches story. The Cameroonian has famously made his way from homelessness to title contender, and his story spans continents—he made his way from Cameroon to Spain to France and now trains in Las Vegas. 

    While he has the underdog story of the famous Southpaw boxer, he has made his way through the competition like a mixture of Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago. His first title shot against Miocic was preceded by four straight first-round knockouts. 

    Once again, he's compiled a streak of four knockouts. He's defeated Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a combined two minutes and 42 seconds. 

    That's a double-edged sword for Ngannou. While it showcases the fight-changing power he possesses, it hasn't done much to prove he can avoid what happened the last time he fought Miocic. The American took down Ngannou twice in each of the first two rounds, which set the tone for the fight. 

    The champ has the best combination of wrestling and striking in the division. He isn't the best at either one, but it's his all-purpose game that gives Ngannou problems. He has the ability to go to his wrestling early, wear down the contender then strike with him once he's tired and some of the power is neutralized. 

    Until Ngannou can show he can stop that, Miocic is the pick here. 

    Prediction: Miocic via decision

Woodley Frustrates Luque on Way to Decision

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    Vicente Luque is a fairly big favorite here. That's no surprise given his recent success. He's won eight of his last nine fights, including back-to-back wins by knockout over Niko Price and Randy Brown. 

    Woodley, on the other hand, is 38 years old, on a three-fight skid and hasn't won a fight since losing his welterweight title. 

    It's no surprise there isn't a lot of optimism surrounding T-Wood. But that can be a dangerous game to play. It's easy to forget what a fighter can do well when they are in a slump like Woodley, but he's still dangerous. 

    We don't see it often, but Woodley is still a dangerous wrestler. He's always been incredibly frustrating to opponents. He has enough power in that massive right hand to warrant caution, and when he wants, he can close the distance and control the fight in the clinch. 

    That sets up some frustration for Luque. The Brazilian relies on overwhelming opponents with forward movement and striking. The first sets himself up for a massive right hand on the counter. The latter could set him up for takedown attempts if Woodley is inclined to go that route. 

    Woodley's back is against the wall here. If he loses this fight, it's likely the last we see of him as a relevant welterweight. That's why we could see a return to his wrestling roots and a frustrating night for Luque. 

    Prediction: Woodley via decision

O'Malley Wins Slugfest with Almeida

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    This is a bit of great matchmaking by UFC. It's clear the promotion knows it has a potential star in O'Malley. He's an exciting fighter to watch with a big social media presence and divisive personality to boot. 

    He's an easy fighter to sell, but he lost a little bit of his appeal in his last fight. A first-round loss to Marlon "Chito" Vera disrupted an undefeated record. This fight gives him the opportunity to get some of that buzz back just a few fights before the heavyweight main event. 

    Almeida is a great opponent for that purpose. He's dangerous, with his 17 career knockouts evidence of that. He's an aggressive striker who is certainly not going to wait for O'Malley to turn it into a kickboxing match. 

    But he's also one who has proved beatable in recent fights. He has lost three of his last four of his last five fights since a 21-0 start to his career. 

    O'Malley can prove that he isn't the next Almeida here with a win. His length and striking creativity should be the difference as this one will bring the fireworks for as long as it lasts. 

    Prediction: O'Malley via first-round TKO

         

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