A massive heavyweight title rematch headlines UFC 260 this Saturday night as Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou go at it once again.
Supported by former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley trying to snap a three-fight losing against the heavy-hitting Vicente Luque, the rest of UFC 260 is set to feature young stars hoping to make a statement.
Stipe Miocic (20-3) vs. Francis Ngannou (15-3)
Since their first meeting in 2018, both men have had very different times inside of the octagon.
While both have clearly been successful, the damage and fight time that Miocic has undertaken is miles apart from Ngannou’s quick destruction jobs.
For the Cameroonian’s lack of punishment however, we have failed to see any improvements in the holes of his game that saw him lose decisively to Miocic in their first meeting.
For that reason, this fight is pure speculation as to how it will play out in comparison to their first outing.
Once again, Ngannou’s freakish power can switch the lights out on a moment’s notice but Miocic’s more well-rounded skillset and fight IQ make me side with a repeat of 2018.
Pick: Stipe Miocic
Tyron Woodley (19-6-1) vs. Vicente Luque (19-7-1)
Woodley’s losing streak has been baffling for his timidity and he surely can’t be completely gun shy for four-in-a-row, can he?
Luque will no doubt want to push the pace and follow in the footsteps of those who have defeated Woodley by putting him on the backfoot. With a more striking heavy approach however, Woodley’s counter right hand will be a big factor to look out for.
Perhaps the fact this will be a three-round fight as opposed to a five-rounder will give Woodley more impotus but the way in which he has been losing lately is a massive red flag.
With Luque being a durable and vicious striker, I think he’ll add to the former champion’s misery.
Pick: Vicente Luque
Sean O’Malley (12-1) vs. Thomas Almeida (22-4)
Sean O’Malley’s loss to Marlon Vera and his reaction to it was a big alarm bell as to where his potential can take him in my opinion.
With two fights under the UFC banner seeing him suffer injuries to his legs, the game plan to beat him is seemingly apparent and it looks like he’s not one to rally when things aren’t going his way.
All that being said however, the UFC has done him a big favour with this match-up.
Thomas Almeida is not the same prospect that was destroying all of those in front of him over half a decade ago. Almeida’s defence is still porous as it was back then but his offence is just not there anymore.
Anything other than an O’Malley victory would be a major shock.
Pick: Sean O’Malley
Gillian Robertson (9-5) vs. Miranda Maverick (8-2)
While I think Robertson is better than her record suggests, her offence is very one-sided towards her grappling and she does tend to struggle with physical opponents who can stifle her game plan.
Maverick can certainly suppress Robertson’s attempts to take this fight to the mat and her striking looks to be better than Robertson’s.
It should be a fun fight and while I believe Robertson can get this fight grounded, I doubt she can keep Maverick down long enough to rack up the rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
Pick: Miranda Maverick
Jamie Mullarkey (12-4) vs. Khama Worthy (16-7)
Both Mullarkey and Worthy are keen for a scrap on the feet and this boils down to whether you prefer Mullarkey’s gameness and scrappy approach to Worthy’s power and technique.
With his aggression, Mullarkey will likely give Worthy some trouble but without major power behind his strikes, I think ‘The Deathstar’ will make his punches carry more over the 15 minutes.
Pick: Khama Worthy
(Last Predictions: 3/5, Total: 25/51, 49% Success Rate)
(Success Rate: 2016: 61%, ’17: 60%, ’18: 58%, 19′: 57%, 20′: 67%)