Francis Ngannou is a different fighter than the one Stipe Miocic stymied for a five-round unanimous decision victory in 2018.
In the three years since, Ngannou (15-3) established his camp full-time in Las Vegas, where Saturday night’s rematch will take place. He also hired an agent and numerous others in his support system in an effort to become a more complete fighter.
The 34-year-old will put that hard work on the line as a -130 favorite by FanDuel and DraftKings in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 260 card. Miocic, 38, is the +108 underdog by FanDuel and +110 by DraftKings, where he is being backed by 65 percent of the moneyline handle.
The two first met at UFC 220, after Ngannou blitzed his way to the top of the heap with a string of fast and violent knockouts. Miocic responded by implementing a wrestling game that ultimately led to victory.
Since the Jan. 2018 bout, Ngannou dropped his next bout in a three-round decision to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 in July 2018. But he then rebounded with four first-round knockouts, with the longest of the four going just 1:11.
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Miocic, meanwhile, has fought a trilogy with Daniel Cormier, losing the belt, regaining it, then settling things in the rubber match.
If Ngannou has improved his wrestling game, it has been entirely behind closed doors in the gym. No one he’s recently fought has lasted long enough to test his ground game.
For Miocic, meanwhile, the question becomes how much the grueling Cormier battles took out of the 38-year-old and whether this marks the fight where the damage catches up with the two-time champion.
Ngannou winning by KO or TKO is the favored outcome at -105 at FanDuel, followed by a Miocic win by KO/TKO (+220).
The longer the fight goes, the more it is expected to favor Miocic, who is being offered at +460 to win by points compared to Ngannou being offered at +1700 to win by points. Ngannou by submission (+1800), Miocic by submission (+2300) and a draw (+5000) are the three other method of victory markets.
How the fight will end odds:
Elevated to the co-feature spot is a welterweight matchup between former champion Tyron Woodley of Ferguson, Mo. and New Jersey’s Vicente Luque. Woodley (19-6-1) looks to snap a three-fight losing streak, while Luque (19-7-1), the winner of eight out of his past nine, would score the biggest name win of his career with a victory.
Woodley is being offered as the +200 underdog at DraftKings, with the public backing him with 75 percent of the handle and 54 percent of the moneyline bets.
–Field Level Media