The big dogs will be out in force at UFC 220, with a Heavyweight title bout featuring champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou topping an explosive bill
UFC 220, Sunday 21 January, from 1am, BT Sport 2/HD (CH 532/528)
Talk about starting 2018 with a bang! On top of being just the fourth Fight Night in UFC history to include both a heavyweight title battle and a light heavyweight title tussle, UFC 220 also features the man slated to be the sport’s next big thing.
“Francis Ngannou is going to be a global rock star,” said UFC President Dana White after the French-Cameroonian won his last fight with a seriously spectacular knockout. “The guy is a monster and he continues to get better. He looks like the heavyweight champion of the world.”
The hard-punching 31-year-old, who was homeless less than six years ago, might look like the heavyweight champion of the world, but to actually claim that title he needs to beat current belt-holder Stipe Miocic at Boston’s TD Garden. “I’m excited,” smiles Miocic. “There’s no question, he does hit hard, but I’m not going to put myself in a position where I’m going to get hit. I’m going for broke. I’m going out there to win.”
If Miocic achieves his goal then he will become the first UFC Heavyweight Champion to defend his title three times. Unfortunately for the champ the bookmakers think this is unlikely, and so does his opponent. “Enjoy the belt while you can and say your farewell before your next fight,” tweeted Ngannou, who has won all six of his UFC fights in two rounds or less.
Joining the Miocic-Ngannou battle at the top of the card is Daniel Cormier’s UFC light heavyweight title fight against Volkan Oezdemir. Cormier lost his last title defence, but was reinstated as champion when Jon Jones failed a drugs test. “I lost the fight and feel like there is a stench on me,” reveals the American. “I stink everywhere I go and the only way to get the stink off me is by beating Volkan Oezdemir.”
Most people expect this to happen, but Oezdemir isn’t worried about being the underdog. “I keep finishing my fights in one minute, so nobody knows who I am,” says the Swiss fighter. “I’m just going to bring in the element of surprise.”
Also on the bill is a grudge rematch between welterweights Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. Plus, there are top quality flyweight, featherweight and lightweight bouts. Our verdict? It's going to be one heck of a show.
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