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3 last-minute predictions for UFC 260

UFC 260 headliners Stipe Miocic (left) and Francis Ngannou (right)
UFC 260 headliners Stipe Miocic (left) and Francis Ngannou (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 27 Mar 2021
News

The UFC 260 fight card will be headlined by a highly intriguing stylistic clash, a rematch between UFC heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic and a foe he’s quite familiar with, Francis Ngannou.

The UFC 260 co-main event will see former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley try to snap his three-fight losing streak. In the octagon, he'll be up against Vicente Luque, who has gone 2-0 since a one-sided loss against Stephen Thompson.

A few other exciting clashes are also set to transpire at the UFC 260 event. But today, we'll focus on three of the most notable matchups on this card. So, without further ado, let's have a look at three predictions for UFC 260. Here we go!


#3 UFC 260: Sean O’Malley vs Thomas Almeida (Bantamweight)

Sean O’Malley is coming off the first loss of his professional MMA career. Prior to that, Suga was being touted as a future UFC bantamweight champion. He still is regarded as one of the division’s top prospects. This fight could surely answer a lot of questions about O’Malley’s ability to handle losses.

The talented young UFC star will have to win and do so impressively at UFC 260. But that could be a tall task against a dangerous fellow KO artist like Thomas Almeida. However, Sean O’Malley’s defensive striking has proven to be much better than that of Almeida’s, which could hold the former in good stead.

Both fighters have decent grappling skills, so this fight could likely play out primarily on the feet. The likeliest outcome of this UFC 260 matchup is Sean O’Malley utilizing his jab and outstanding overall striking skills to keep Almeida at bay.

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Almeida will likely charge in after getting outpointed, which is when O’Malley would catch him with a counter left or right and win via knockout.

Winner – Sean O’Malley via second-round KO.


#2 UFC 260: Tyron Woodley vs Vicente Luque (Welterweight)

Tyron Woodley is an excellent fighter who has been going through a bit of a rough phase of late. The Chosen One possesses legitimate one-punch KO power and brilliant wrestling prowess. Woodley can beat anyone in the welterweight division on his night.

Meanwhile, Vicente Luque has thunderous KO power too. Luque also boasts decent wrestling and good overall grappling skills.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility for this UFC 260 clash to end early – Tyron Woodley could KO Vicente Luque in the first round with his signature blitz. Alternatively, if this one goes past the first round, Luque’s disciplined technical striking could help him set Woodley up for a fight-ending combination against the fence.

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Tyron Woodley has faced problems in the past when he has got backed up against the fence. And Vicente Luque’s solid striking fundamentals would serve well to cut off the octagon and trap Woodley at that spot.

With the kind of momentum each fighter brings to the table, Luque seems to be primed to win this one via decision or perhaps a late KO/TKO.

Winner – Vicente Luque via unanimous decision.


#1 UFC 260: Stipe Miocic (c) vs Francis Ngannou 2 (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

There’s something rather odd about the UFC 260 headliner that not many in the MMA community seem to be talking about. In case you’re wondering what’s being alluded to over here, it is damage we’re stressing upon.

Yes, damage, something that the reigning UFC heavyweight champion has absorbed in scarily heavy doses (no pun intended) over the course of a legendary career. Since besting Francis Ngannou via a unanimous decision back in January 2018, Stipe Miocic has competed thrice – all three times against Daniel Cormier - going 2-1 in their trilogy.

Meanwhile, Ngannou followed up his loss to Miocic by losing via unanimous decision to Derrick Lewis before amassing an incredible four-fight win streak. All four of these wins have come via first-round KO/TKO.

Miocic has taken a considerable amount of damage, particularly in his fights against Cormier. On the contrary, Ngannou has taken little-to-no damage in his recent fights.

Coming to the clash of styles in this UFC 260 fight, Stipe Miocic is considered to be the more well-rounded MMA competitor of the two. Miocic also possesses one-punch KO power akin to Ngannou, but he tends to be more cautious in its application, unlike Ngannou.

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This UFC 260 heavyweight title clash could come down to whether Ngannou can defend the takedown. And if he does, would he be able to keep up with Miocic’s volume punching if this one goes the distance? Well, in their first fight, Ngannou showed that he can go the five-round distance. But that may not be enough, as he’d likely lose on the scorecards yet again.

Expect this fight to be contested mainly on the feet. This one’s likely to be a war for as long as it lasts. Miocic will have to exercise an abundance of caution, especially in the first couple of rounds, against the sniper that is Ngannou.

If Francis Ngannou succeeds in stuffing the first few shots, it’ll probably discourage Miocic from shooting for more takedowns. And Ngannou, who’s been putting in serious work at the gym on his grappling skills, seems more than capable of doing so. This one’s going to look much different than their first fight.

The damage Stipe Miocic has taken of late coupled with Ngannou’s sniper-like precision striking and terrifying KO power could potentially turn out to be a lethal recipe. That could manifest itself in the form of a coronation – a new heavyweight champion is likely to be crowned at UFC 260.

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The Predator could successfully defend The Firefighter’s takedowns, force him into a firefight (again, no pun intended) and blaze his way to the heavyweight throne with a one-punch KO in round two or three at UFC 260.

Winner – Francis Ngannou via second-round KO.

Published 27 Mar 2021, 11:15 IST
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