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5 brave predictions that may play out at UFC 260

UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins
UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins
ANALYST
Modified 27 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

UFC 260 is just a few hours away. The event will be headlined by the dominant heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic taking on his fearsome challenger Francis Ngannou.

In the co-main event, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will attempt to revive his struggling career against Vicente Luque. Meanwhile, prospects such as Sean O'Malley and Miranda Maverick will be looking to make waves in their respective divisions.

On that note, let's have a look at five bold predictions that could play out at UFC 260.

#5 Miranda Maverick will make her presence felt

It's very difficult to predict the outcome of the showdown between Miranda Maverick and Gillian Robertson. Both women are talented grapplers, and it may very well be a toss-up between who is able to gain the upper hand.

However, it's about time for Miranda Maverick to make waves and emerge as the 125-pound division's top contender. Miranda Maverick is currently riding a four-fight win streak, with her most recent victory coming by way of TKO.

Meanwhile, Valentina Shevchenko has been dominating the women's flyweight division. It's time for somebody like Miranda Maverick to step up and emerge as a credible threat to the Kyrgyzstani striking savant.


#4 Sean O'Malley will restart the hype train engine

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Losing to Marlon Vera unceremoniously derailed Sean O'Malley's ascent to superstardom. In a bizarre turn of events, Sean O'Malley lost via TKO after his leg stopped working due to nerve damage triggered by his opponent's low kicks.

Sean O'Malley could prove that his previous loss was indeed a fluke by putting on a flawless performance against Thomas Almeida. Meanwhile, for Sean O'Malley, there may be no better way to send a statement than to earn another knockout win.

Thomas Almeida, meanwhile, is on a three-fight losing slump. It's hard to imagine that he could get back in the winning column against an extremely-motivated Sean O'Malley.


#3 Tyron Woodley's career will take its final blow

UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins
UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins
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As difficult as it is to accept, Saturday night could be the last time we ever see Tyron Woodley fight in the UFC Octagon. Once a dominant welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley has never looked right since losing his title to Kamaru Usman in 2019.

Vicente Luque, who at 29 is almost an entire decade younger than Tyron Woodley, is favored to win this matchup. And based on Woodley's recent outings against Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns, it's hard to see how he could bounce back at the age of 38.

If Tyron Woodley suffers yet another defeat – a very likely outcome – it's hard to believe he will have more fuel left in the tank. All there'll be left for him would be to call it quits, in that case.


#2 Francis Ngannou will seize the heavyweight throne

UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins
UFC 260 Miocic vs Ngannou 2: Weigh-Ins

It's difficult to say whether Francis Ngannou has actually improved since his last fight against Stipe Miocic. Outside of his five-round slugfest against Derrick Lewis, he won all four of his previous fights by first-round knockout.

While amassing four straight UFC KO wins is an impressive accomplishment, we haven't learned if his takedown defense and conditioning have improved. That said, his chances of walking away with the heavyweight title on Saturday night are still very favorable.

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In 2019, Daniel Cormier proved that you could knock Stipe Miocic out if you time your punches perfectly. It's safe to assume Francis Ngannou could be swinging for the fences, hoping to catch Stipe Miocic this time around.


#1 Stipe Miocic will retire after the fight

UFC 241 Cormier vs Miocic 2
UFC 241 Cormier vs Miocic 2

It may seem very disrespectful to pick against Stipe Miocic after his dominant UFC title defense against Ngannou three years ago. Moreover, Miocic has also cemented his claim as the best UFC heavyweight of all time by winning his rubber match against rival Daniel Cormier.

However, time eventually catches up with everyone, even generational talents like Stipe Miocic. The reigning UFC heavyweight king is already 38, and unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end.

A superfight against Jon Jones is the only conquest left for Miocic at this point of his career. But if he loses to Francis Ngannou, a dream match between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones will have to stay in the realm of dreams.

If a mega-blockbuster against the longtime light heavyweight champion gets off the table, the only good option for Stipe Miocic would be retirement.

Published 27 Mar 2021, 17:05 IST
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