UFC 260 is drawing near, and that means so is one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history. Saturday night, Stipe Miocic will put his heavyweight title on the line against top challenger Francis Ngannou in the main event emanating from Las Vegas. The pair first met one another back in January 2018 with Miocic cruising to a decision victory over the power-puncher to retain his title.
The native of Cleveland has put together the best resume in UFC heavyweight history with four defenses of the title. He lost the belt in the first meeting with Daniel Cormier in 2018, but won it back in the next and defended it in the third and final faceoff. Now, he looks to slow the pace of Ngannou once again after the native of Cameroon has scored four straight knockouts that have totaled just 2:43 of Octagon time.
Here's a quick look at what to expect from each with odds provided by William Hill Sportsbook below.
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Kharma Worthy -130 vs. Jamie Mullarkey +110, lightweights: This is bordering on a must-win fight for Mullarkey (12-4). The 26-year-old Aussie has gone 0-2 in the UFC, losing decisions in both of his trips to the Octagon. Fighters who start their careers in the promotion 0-3 don't have a habit of sticking around long. Prior to entering the UFC, Mullarkey had not seen the scorecards since the second fight in his pro career, picking up eight knockout and three submission victories in his career. He was also knocked out by current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in 2016. Worthy (16-7) is coming off a 93-second knockout loss to Ottman Azaitar in his last outing. The loss snapped a seven-fight winning streak for Worthy, a run that included two victories by finish in his first two trips to the UFC. That was the best stretch of his professional career, and helped him recover from a 9-6 start to his career over his first 15 fights. In his debut for the promotion, Worthy stepped in on four-days' notice as a +650 underdog to knockout out Devonte Smith.
Miranda Maverick -165 vs. Gillian Robertson +140, women's flyweights: Maverick (8-2) is coming off a TKO victory via doctor stoppage over Liana Jojua in her UFC debut. She is a full-time PhD student and teaching assistant, now riding a four-fight winning streak. The fight with Robertson (9-5) was originally scheduled for UFC 258 before a non-COVID illness forced Robertson out of the fight and the UFC to reschedule the fight. Robertson made her UFC debut in December 2017 after participating in season 26 of "The Ultimate Fighter." She has established a consistent pattern in the UFC of winning two fights before suffering a loss, having done that three times now with her most recent fight being a loss to Taila Santos.
Sean O'Malley -330 vs. Thomas Almeida +260, bantamweights: O'Malley (12-1) was one of the fastest-rising stars in the UFC with only failed drug tests slowing down his climb through the bantamweight ranks as he won his first 12 fights. At UFC 252, O'Malley ran into Marlon Vera and suffered the first loss of his career. O'Malley suffered an injury to his foot in the fight and found himself attempting to fight off his back, only to have Vera brutally attack with ground-and-pound for the stoppage. He now looks to bounce back against Almeida (22-4), who was once in a very similar situation to O'Malley in having won the first 21 fights of his professional career. Things have gotten rough for Almeida since he suffered the first loss of his career against Cody Garbrandt in 2016. He is now just 1-4 in his five most recent fights, including a current three-fight losing skid.
Vicente Luque -260 vs. Tyron Woodley +210, welterweights: Former welterweight champ Woodley (19-6-1) was attempting to make a case for himself as one of the greatest welterweights in UFC history after winning the title and retaining it successfully four times. Woodley then lost the belt in a one-sided fight with Kamaru Usman. He followed up that loss with equally one-sided losses against Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington. He was sent tumbling down the division's rankings and now seeming in desperate need of a win against Luque (19-7-1), who has quietly built an impressive 12-3 record in the Octagon. That record is even more impressive when Luque entered the promotion with a 7-4-1 record as a professional, a winning percentage that does not usually imply long-term success in the Octagon. Luque is coming off back-to-back stoppage wins, finishing Niko Price and Randy Brown. He is also 8-2 since 2017. Luque has only won two of his 19 career victories by decision, showing an impressive finishing ability.
Stipe Miocic (c) +105 vs. Francis Ngannou -125, heavyweight championship: Miocic (20-3) is on his second stint as UFC heavyweight champion. He first won the title in May 2016, defending the belt successfully three times, the last of which came against Ngannou. After dropping the title when he was knocked out by Daniel Cormier a few months later, Miocic won the belt back in their rematch before also winning the rubber match. Miocic has not fought anyone but Cormier since the first fight with Ngannou in January 2018 but has established a claim as the greatest heavyweight fighter in UFC history, strengthened by his title defenses and 8-1 record since 2015.
Ngannou (15-3) is one of the greatest finishers in MMA history. He has never won a fight by decision nor has he lost a fight via stoppage. He is on a current four-fight winning streak that has seen him win fights in 45, 26, 71 and 20 seconds. Aside from decision losses to Miocic and Derrick Lewis, no man in the UFC has made it past the end of the second round when facing Ngannou with nine knockouts and one submission in the promotion.
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