UFC president, Dana White claimed that the winner of Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier 3 will be the greatest heavyweight champion of all time. Stipe Miocic beat Daniel Cormier via unanimous decision after 5 rounds of war. Now we can at least call Stipe the greatest UFC heavyweight champion of all time.
If we look at the contenders in the heavyweight division then it's not a secret who is next for Stipe Miocic.
Stipe Miocic will defend his heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou in a rematch. Ever since the loss to Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou has been on a reign of terror. He has decimated legends and former champions such as Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. He has knocked out rising contenders such as Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. And at this point, it looks like there is no one left in the division who can go toe to toe with Francis Ngannou other than Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis.
Interestingly, Francis Ngannou has fought both of them and suffered defeat on both occasions. It can be said that a rematch between Lewis and Ngannou might play out differently. But, will the outcome of Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou 2 be different from the first encounter?
Can Francis Ngannou beat Stipe Miocic?
The changes Francis Ngannou has made to his physique is clearly visible. He looks more conditioned. He still has an insane amount of power in his hands to knock most of the heavyweights out cold. However, has his wrestling improved?
It will be very unlikely that Ngannou will shock us with his ground game. Stipe Miocic can take him down sooner or later. Has Ngannou improved enough to get back up once he is taken down? The answer is no. Francis Ngannou might power his way back to his feet, but Miocic will get him down again.
We saw a 25 minute battle between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. And Ngannou did not win one second of that fight. Francis Ngannou is a threat in the first round against any opponent in the world. However, it's always a risk when we are betting on the knock out power over skills.
Stipe Miocic gave the formula to the entire heavyweight division to beat Francis Ngannou. But, legends such as Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez decided to trade strikes with the most powerful puncher in UFC ever. And they paid the price for it.
But, Stipe Miocic will not make that mistake. Stipe Miocic has only gotten better since the first encounter with Ngannou despite the damage he has taken in the fights against Daniel Cormier.
Unless Francis Ngannou catches Stipe Miocic in the early minutes of the fight and knocks him out it is going to be a long night for the Predator. On one hand, we have Francis Ngannou who is the fiercest striker in the early minutes of the fight but tends to gas out and does not have significant wrestling skills. And on the other hand, we have Stipe Miocic who is the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time and dominantly beat Ngannou in the first match. It's needless to say that Miocic should be the favorite going into the rematch.