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The Heavyweight GOAT is Back

One of the most wanted heavyweight title rematches is finally going to happen as the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time and current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic takes on the scariest man in the UFC, Francis “The Predator” Ngannou.

Miocic solidified himself as the greatest heavyweight last August when he faced his biggest rival Daniel Cormier for the third time. Leading up to the third fight between the two, Miocic and Cormier were 1-1 with Cormier knocking out Miocic in the first round at UFC 226 to become the UFC heavyweight champion along with his UFC light heavyweight title. The rematched at UFC 241 for the heavyweight title saw Miocic get his revenge by fourth-round TKO after being down the previous three rounds.

Miocic first won the title when he knocked out Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198. Miocic’s first title defense came against Alistair Overeem at UFC 203. After being dropped in the first round by Overeem, Miocic came back to knockout Overeem later in the round. Miocic next took on former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and finished dos Santos in the first round by TKO.

Miocic would then be matched up against Ngannou at UFC 220. Miocic survived a hectic first round against Ngannou and was able to hurt Ngannou on the feet and controlled Ngannou on the ground for the whole fight. He won a dominant decision, setting the new record for the most consecutive defenses at heavyweight (3).

Even as a dominant champion, Miocic has been an underdog in the past couple of his title fights. The heavyweight division is the type of division where any fighter can win on any given night and Miocic is able to still be successful even at age 38. Miocic is yet again being underestimated in this fight against Ngannou, but Miocic will look to use his great boxing and wrestling to get the job done yet again.

Ngannou, currently ranked No.1, is riding a four-fight win streak with all of those fights ending by first-round knockout. The most recent win came against Jairzinho Rozenstruik - Ngannou finished the top contender in just 20 seconds.

Ngannou made his debut with the promotion in 2015 and knocked out Luis Henrique in the second round. Ngannou went on a five-fight win streak before facing Miocic and ultimately suffering his first loss in the UFC. After the title loss, Ngannou faced Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. The fight wasn’t the most exciting as the two threw the least number of punches in a UFC fight. Lewis would end up winning by unanimous decision.

After suffering two losses in a row, Ngannou knew he needed a win, and faced Curtis Blaydes a few months after his fight with Lewis. He TKO’ed Blaydes in the first round. Ngannou took a big step up in competition when he was matched up with one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The fight only lasted 26 seconds as Ngannou knocked Velasquez. Ngannou next faced Junior dos Santos and knocked out the former champion in just under two minutes.

Ngannou is known for his knockout power and not much else, but his power has gotten him this far, but we have yet to see if he can make it work to let earn him the UFC heavyweight belt.

This rematch is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and I’m picking Francis Ngannou to win by first round knockout. Catch all of the amazing fights this Saturday on ESPN+ PPV!

Tidwell 2021 picking record: 4-2

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