The UFC heavyweight champ is the official “Baddest Man of the Planet”, but the moniker – though not the title – was snatched from Stipe Miocic when Francis Ngannou unleashed The Uppercut From Hell.
It was a monster strike that instantly earned the right to be capitalized, forever ingrained in MMA lore. The only other strike that’s earned such a status is the Showtime Kick. But that uppercut though. It probably could’ve killed a normal-sized dude, and I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic here.
Any heavyweight that’s got comic book muscles and hits like Tyson reborn is gonna get massive hype. His amazing backstory, from working at a rock quarry as a kid in rural Cameroon to being homeless in France, makes him that much more marketable. Now, he’s got a chance to become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
But let’s not crown him just yet. Stipe Miocic might not have the buzz, but he quietly tied the record for most title defenses in UFC history with his most recent win over Junior dos Santos. The Clevelander can sleep dudes too – he’s won five straight via knockout, with the last four coming in the first round.
This is the most anticipated heavyweight fight in years. And that’s reason enough to order this card. The co-main between Cormier and Oezdemir is fine, but let’s not kid ourselves: we’re here to see a clash of titans.
Let’s get into the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu. As usual, we’re promoting three types of bets here: Cherry Picks are relatively safe chalk bets. Smart Risks are underdog plays with good value. And Lottery Tickets are high-risk, high-reward bets to play at your own peril.
Francis Ngannou -185 vs. Stipe Miocic +150
Over/under 1.5 rounds, over +120, under -150
What’s a champ gotta do to get some respect? Apparently, crushing Werdum, Overeem, JDS, Hunt and The Pitbull ain’t enough. Oddsmakers are riding Ngannou’s hype, and honestly we can’t blame them. Because of the massive weight range and thin nature of the heavyweight class, it’s the only division where a ginormous dude with relatively little experience can truck his way to the top of the ladder. Remember Brock Lesnar?
Ngannou has the same effect. It might not matter that Miocic is arguably the most well-rounded heavyweight on the roster. The champ is a former D1 wrestler and Golden Gloves champion, capable of seamlessly merging his wrestling and boxing. But will that matter against a guy as huge and explosive as Ngannou? Nobody should be surprised by these odds.
Smart Risk: Miocic to win at +150
It’s not often that the more skilled fighter is an underdog, and it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up. Ngannou is sexy for sure, but how will he fare if Miocic drags this fight out? Don’t forget the champ has plenty of knockout power of his own, and he showed against Mark Hunt that he can bring a three-dimensional gameplan of boxing, clinching and wrestling to outclass strikers.
Lottery Ticket: Ngannou by submission at +800
There are worse ways to blow $100 – and most of them don’t give you a chance to win $800 back. Ngannou is a knockout artist, but he showed a surprising nose for quick submissions when he locked up kimura from a standing position against Anthony Hamilton and rolled him over to get the tap. If he’s on his back, he’s so strong that he could wrench a free limb.
Daniel Cormier -336 vs. Volkan Oezdemir +270
Over/under 1.5 rounds, over -180, under +165
Oezdemir came through as an underdog in three straight UFC fights, but the clock’s about to strike midnight for the Cinderella man. With all due respect, Daniel Cormier is in a different league compared to OSP, Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. The challenger is basically a Level 30 Brawler stepping into a Level 100 battlefield.
If Cormier can eat Rumble Johnson’s best shots and recover from a Tiger Knee to the jaw courtesy Alexander Gustafsson, he can probably feast on Oezdemir’s vaunted punches. And like most guys who came up through the European circuit, Oezdemir’s experience against high level wrestlers has to be questioned. Once “No Time” is on the mat with DC, it’s only a matter of time before he gets busted up.
Cherry Pick: Parlay Cormier to win at -336
DC might test his boxing a bit, but expect him to put Oezdemir against the fence and grind him down with headfighting and uppercuts. From there, it’ll be knee taps and double legs to get it to the mat. Rinse and repeat from there, with Cormier cruising to a victory.
Cherry Pick: Over 1.5 rounds at -180
The over/under at 1.5 rounds is a bit surprising – it’s the lowest possible round total. DC is the King of the Grind, and that’s a style that eats up clock. Oezdemir’s knockout power factors into this, but so does the fact that his wins still seem to have a fluky quality about them. Cormier has only gone under this mark just once in his past 12 fights, and that came against a late notice opponent in Patrick Cummins.
Lottery Ticket: Oezdemir wins by TKO/KO at +340
If Oezdemir wins, it’ll be through his strikes. He’s not outlasting Cormier in a five-round war like he did against gassed OSP. If you’re betting on DC, this is the best option to hedge your bets.
Visit our odds page to view the latest UFC 220 fight odds.