Francis Ngannou Predicts a Finish Over Stipe Miocic (UFC 220 Media Call Replay)



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Listen to the UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou media conference call and hear from the main and co-main event fighters.  Two titles are on the line at TD Garden in Boston on Jan. 20.    

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The UFC 220 headlining bout between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated heavyweight bouts in quite some time. Miocic has the chance to become one of the most dominant UFC heavyweight champions ever, while Ngannou’s one-punch power has everyone wondering if he is the next great heavyweight superpower.

The UFC 220 co-main event sees little drop-off. Daniel Cormier was handed his belt back after Jon Jones tested positive to steroids following their UFC 214 bout in July. He aims to prove that the belt still rightfully belongs to him by putting a halt to Volkan Oezdemir’s meteoric rise in the Octagon.

Unbeaten Jordan Wright ‘Just Doing Me’ Heading into LFA Debut

In 2017, middleweight prospect Jordan Wright was able to keep his pattern of success that he had developed over the course of his previous years fighting.

In two bouts against John Stern for Alaska FC in January and April, Wright was able to pick up first round finishes, extending his streak of such wins to eight in a row.

“I performed exactly how I expected to perform (in 2017),” Wright told MMAWeekly.com. “I got two more first round finishes. It’s the culmination of hard work and determination.

“I’ve paid the price. I’ve put in the work. I believe in God. I believe in my friends and family. I believe in myself. I expect these things to happen because I work for it. It’s what being a positive person and a hard working person gets me.”

While his start has helped him make headway in Wright’s career, there have been some drawbacks about building a reputation as a consistent first round finisher.

“That’s the thing, especially coming out of Jackson-Wink MMA, no one wants to fight me,” said Wright. “Certain (promotions like Alaska FC) said if I could get myself out there, they could get me a fight. My fights pay for the ticket pretty much, but as long as I get the experience, that’s pretty good.”

This Friday in Costa Mesa, California, Wright (8-0) makes his national MMA debut when he takes on Craig Wilkerson (7-3) in a 185-pound main card bout at LFA 30.

“Honestly, the opponent doesn’t come into the equation,” Wright said. “It’s you versus you out there, just like it’s you versus you every day in life. I don’t focus on the opponent. I just focus on what I need to do. I keep that mindset going forward to get the job done as always.

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“I go out and fight like I normally do. I’ve felt like a world champion ever since I was born. If people feel a certain way about it and they need to make a statement in their eyes, that’s up to them, but I’m just doing me.”

Having just made the next step forward in his career, Wright is just looking to take each opportunity as it comes in 2018 and not get too far ahead of himself.

“I’m just going to see what happens,” said Wright. “There are always a lot of things that happen that you can’t plan for. Whatever happens, happens, so we’ll see what happens with the rest of the year.”

UFC Champ Amanda Nunes Joins Invicta FC Athlete Development Team

Invicta Fighting Championships today announced the addition of current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes to its athlete development team.

Nunes will join a team tasked with further solidifying the deepest roster in women’s MMA. The agreement’s core responsibilities will include assisting with the matchmaking process to create compelling fight cards and identifying the champions of tomorrow, specifically scouting talent in Brazil and the southeastern United States.

“I’ve known and worked with Amanda for a long time, going all the way back to our Strikeforce days,” said Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp. “She was already part of the Invicta family, but now it’s official; now it’s on paper.

“I can’t think of a better ambassador for the sport and our organization.”

After nearly a decade in the sport – including stints with Strikeforce, Invicta FC and the UFC – Nunes captured gold in 2016, defeating Miesha Tate at UFC 200 to become UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Her career resume features wins over many of MMA’s best including Tate, Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Sara McMann, Germaine de Randamie, Vanessa Porto, Shayna Baszler and Julia Budd.

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“I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to fight for the best organizations in the world,” said Nunes. “In my new position, I hope to be able to use my experience as a fighter and a champion to help groom the next generation. I’m honored to be a part of their journey at Invicta.”

The appointment is effective immediately. In her first official duty, “The Lioness” will be front and center tomorrow, overseeing the athletes of Invicta FC 27 as they weigh in and square off.

She’ll also be in the house this Saturday, Saturday, Jan. 13, when Invicta returns to Scottish Rite Temple for Invicta FC 27, headlined by returning veteran Sarah Kaufman (18-4, 1 NC) taking on former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion Pannie “Banzai” Kianzad (8-2).

UFC 220 Betting Odds Have Stipe Miocic as the Dog, but What About Daniel Cormier?

While it’s not unusual for a UFC champion to be a slight underdog in a fight, challenger Francis Ngannou‘s knockout performances in the Octagon have him as a sharp favorite over heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is a heavy favorite over Volkan Oezdemir heading into their UFC 220 showdown on Jan. 20 in Boston. Cormier sits at -325, while Oezdemir is at +250. That’s not at all out of the ordinary.

What seems a little surprising is Ngannou’s rise to the favored position, as he steps into the UFC 220 headliner to challenge Miocic.

Miocic (17-2) is no paper champion. In fact, he’s on the precipice of setting a UFC record. He has currently won five consecutive bouts, all by way of knockout, including two title defenses. If he beats Ngannou, Miocic will become the only man in UFC history to have defended the heavyweight belt on three consecutive occasions. 

Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic - UFC 220While Miocic has the decided advantage in experience and overall skill, Ngannou has lit up the Octagon over the past two years. He has yet to face the roster of talent that Miocic has, but Ngannou has knocked out five of his six UFC opponents, including his 2017 Knockout of the Year blistering of Alistair Overeem

The highlight reel fashion of his punching power has money coming in on the Cameroonian, moving him from -165 when the UFC 220 odds opened to where he currently sits at -185. Miocic sits in the dog seat at +150.

“We opened the line at Ngannou at -165 after his highlight reel knockout of Overeem and we immediately saw an influx of really sharp money that made us move the line to -175 and eventually -185,” Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, Kevin Bradley told MMAWeekly.com.

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“At this point, we were starting to see significant buyback on the dog (at +150) and were able to balance the action. As it stands now, Stipe is a small loser for us, as he has taken 34.55% of all the action. Despite it being less money overall, his underdog status contributes to the small position we have on the Champion.”

UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou Betting Odds

Daniel Cormier vs Volkan Oezdemir

  • Daniel Cormier              -325     (4/13)
  • Volkan Oezdemir          +250     (5/2) 

Francis Ngannou vs Stipe Miocic

  • Francis Ngannou          -185     (20/37)
  • Stipe Miocic                   +150      (3/2)

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