UFC 220 Preview and Tips
UFC 220 is HERE and TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts will host the UFC’s first PPV card of 2018.
In the Main Event, current Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic will attempt to break a UFC record of 3 title defences in his weight class when he takes on “The Predator” Francis Ngannou. With each man riding a streak of 4 first round KO’s, fireworks are guaranteed in what is set to be one of the most important fights in Heavyweight history.
In The Co-Main Event, current Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is set to defend his strap against high flying contender Volkan Oezdemir. After drastically different results in both of their previous fights, this fight could go either way and The Wolf is excited for the underdog. The main card is rounded out by three fights in 3 different weight classes and will provide a big opportunity for the lesser known guys.
The Wolf breaks down the main card with an emphasis on the two main fights and as always has provided us with “The Main Card Multi.”
Thomas Almeida vs Rob Font
The first fight on the main card is a battle of top 15 bantamweights with Thomas Almeida taking on Rob Font at 135 pounds. With the shakeup at the top of the division back in November and the fact that both men have lost each of their last bouts, the main stage of a UFC pay-per-view is a great spot to get their careers back on track.
Almeida a well-rounded fighter, has an impressive MMA record of 22-2 with his only losses coming via top-flight competition in the form of Cody Garbrandt and Jimmie Rivera. Apart from that, Almeida has been flawless and built an impressive highlight reel of KO’s, with a black praijed in Muay Thai, Almeida is a danger to any 135er on the feet. A highlight reel KO could catapult Thomas back into title contention.
His opponent Rob Font is coming of a submission loss to Pedro Munhoz and unquestionably will be looking to make his way back into the win column. A veteran of six UFC fights, Font has shown himself to be a tough fighter to beat and a dangerous finisher with 10 of his 14 victories ending by way of stoppage. His career highlight thus far was his knee KO of Matt Schnell back in December of last year. Font was dominating the fight before closing it up at 3.47 of the 1st round.
In Summary, the big stage could affect one man more than the other and the best fights often come out of the most overlooked bouts. The Wolf really likes the style both men bring and says look for a 2nd round finish to Almeida in this one.
Best: Thomas Almeida WIN ($1.85)
Value: Almeida by KO ($3.25)
Gian Villante vs Francimar Barroso
The second fight on the main card is a Light heavyweight bout between Gian Vilante and Francimar Barroso. A big stage is set for the two UFC vets, with a combined 19 fights under the UFC banner, UFC 220s main card is the biggest stage for both their careers.
Villante who is coming off back-to-back losses, will be looking to rebound in a big way. A former collegiate level grappler and football star, Gian poses a strong game for any opponent and will be looking to control Barroso on route to a victory. His knockouts of Aussie Anthony Perosh and Cody Donovan are two examples of the pressure he brings. Villante is looking to knock you out or take you down, nothing in-between.
His opponent Barroso, is a also a strong grappler and looks to impose himself in most of his fights.
With both men at the tail ends of their career, this one could be a real flip of the coin. The Wolf likes power of the favourite in this one, Villante by KO.
Best: Villante WIN ($1.56)
Value: Villante by KO ($3.00)
Calvin Kattar vs Shane Burgos
The third fight on the main card sees Boston native Calvin Kattar take on rising star Shane Burgos, in a bout that would place the winner inside the top 15, of the UFCs stacked 145lb division.
Calvin Kattar who will be competing in his 2nd UFC bout, holds an impressive 17-2 MMA record, which includes a big victory over Andre Fili at his UFC debut. A dominant grappler, who likes to control his opponents both against the cage and on the ground, will be looking to extend his win streak to 10, in what is the biggest fight of his career. His opponent Burgos, is sitting at a undefeated 10-0 with the UFC hype machine starting to get behind him.
Trained under legendary MMA coach Tiger Schulmann, the sky seems to be the limit for this young man and a big win on a UFC PPV, will go a long way in making him the UFCs next big star.
A battle of experience vs youthfulness here, the Wolf likes the look of Burgos and expects him to get the victory via Decision.
Best: Goes the Distance -YES ($1.60)
Value: Shane Burgos by Decision ($3.00)
Daniel Cormier vs Volkan Oezdemir
The Co-Main event of the evening sees the light heavyweight title on the line, when reigning champion Daniel Cormier takes on Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Coming off the toughest loss of his career, DC looks to bounce back from his KO defeat against Jon Jones, with a vintage performance over the dangerous Oezdemir. After the news came out that Jones had failed his pre-fight drug test, the MMA world was again thrown into a spin with a possible 4 years suspension hanging over his head. In the meantime, Cormier was handed back his 205lb title and promises not to lose it anymore. An Olympic alternate in wrestling, Cormier has been involved in combat sports most of his life and the challenge of Oezdemir is nothing DC hasn’t seen before.
With an MMA record of 19-1-1, Cormier has looked great in all of his fights expect for those against Jones and the challenge of a heavy hitter is just another day at the office. Formerly fighting at heavyweight, Cormier has fought some of the hardest hitting men in the world and has shown an incredible ability to absorb damage and comeback from it.
Both fights with Anthony Johnson, Roy Nelson and Alexander Gustaffson are just a few examples of DC’s ability to take a punch and keep moving forward. Look for DC to push the pace in the bout and further solidify himself as one of the best to ever do it.
The man he faces is one of the scariest 205 pounders ever and in the short 12 months he has been in the UFC, he has risen from an unknown to a title challenger.
A combined fight time of 70 seconds over his last 2 bouts will do that, as Oezdemir ran through Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. Putting both men to sleep with relative ease, Volkan has struck dynamite and DC needs to very careful of getting hit clean, particularly after the first KO loss of his career. There is relatively large component of unknown in this bout, we have seen little of Oezdemir and a step up in competition such as this one is no easy task for the man fighting out of Switzerland.
But there are exceptions to every rule, The Wolf loves the underdog in this one and can’t count Oezdemir out. TW likes his chances early.
Best: Goes The Distance -NO ($1.32)
Value: Oezdemir KO Round 1 ($7.00)
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou
IN THE MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING, two colossus collide as the baddest man on the planet will be decided when reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic looks to make UFC history with 3 title defences. Miocic will need to go through a predator, Francis Ngannou who is arguably the scariest fighter in the UFC right now. Both men are on a streak of four 1st round KO’s & are looking to continue in devastating style.
The current Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, has left his mark on the sport with an incredible ability to absorb punishment and constantly push forward. Combine this with collegiate level wrestling and golden gloves boxing skills and there is a real argument for Miocic to be considered one of the best ever.
His last 4 bouts he has steam-rolled 3 former UFC champions and a K1 grand prix winner. Arlovski still hasn’t woken up from his KO loss, Miocic then knocked out former champ Werdum with a jab while running backwards. Stipe then survived an early onslaught from Overeem to KO the Dutchmen inside a round and most recently at UFC 211. Stipe Miocic avenged 1 of his 2 career losses, by rolling through Junior Dos Santos with a right hand that’d end anybody’s night in the UFC.
On the doorsteps of greatest, Stipe Miocic has been just about perfect as champion, though he has shown in the Overeem, Hunt or Struve fight that he can be hit and the man he faces Sunday only needs one shot!
Just four short years ago Francis “The Predator” Ngannou was homeless in Paris, after stumbling into an MMA gym while training to box, his coaches knew where his future should lie and has honed his skills ever since. Since then Ngannou has been ferocious in victory demolishing anyone who has stood in his way. From his debut KO of Luis Henrique, to the beat down he gave Arlovski and lets not forget the highlights of highlight reel KO’s over Overeem. Francis has sent a message to all UFC heavyweights with each bout and will look to extend his UFC resume at 220.
Just like the Co-main event, there is a heap of uncertainty and with both men possessing the ability to end the fight with one shot, the only thing guaranteed is fireworks. How great of a grappler is Ngannou? Can he weather a storm? Can Miocic weather Ngannou’s biggest shot? Sunday we find out!
Best: Totals Over 1.5 Rounds ($2.20)
Value: Miocic Round 3 ($15.00)
Main Card Multi
Almeida WIN: $1.85
Villante WIN: $1.56
Kattar v Burgos Totals Over 2.5: $1.48
Cormier v Oezdemir Goes the Distance NO: $1.32
Stipe WIN: $2.50
Combined Odds ($14.10)