Mar 24, 2021
Mar 24, 2021

UFC 260 Predictions

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Get expert insight from Adam Catterall

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2 predictions

UFC 260 stats

UFC 260 Predictions

UFC 260 returns to the APEX in Las Vegas for what could be the final pay-per-view behind closed doors. It’s an 11-fight card, headlined by the World Heavyweight Championship title bout. Inform your predictions ahead of UFC 260 with expert insight from Adam Catterall alongside Pinnacle's odds.

It’s been three years since their first world title encounter and a lot of water has gone under the bridge for both men but has Francis Ngannou developed his MMA game enough to finally conquer the greatest UFC Heavyweight of all time, or will we have a repeat of 2018? Read on for my insight into Miocic vs. Ngannou 2, as well as some other notable fights to keep an eye on from the card.

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou predictions

Stipe Miocic

Francis Ngannou

46.69%

53.31%

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2: The story so far

Surprisingly, the reigning Champion Stipe Miocic will start the fight as the betting underdog, which seems crazy given who he is, what he’s achieved, and how the first fight between these two played out. His wrestling prowess shone through in 2018, enabling him to secure the points decision and secure a record-breaking third title defence.

Since that first fight, Miocic has been occupied with a back and forth trilogy against Daniel Cormier. Despite losing their first encounter by knock out, Miocic showed in the rematch and subsequent rubber match why he is regarded as the best ever in this weight category. The notable takeaway from his most recent fight with Cormier is the weight at which he entered the Octagon. At 233lbs, he was leaner and sharper than we’ve ever seen, and a stark contrast to the 246lbs he weighed in at for the first Ngannou fight.

So what has changed for Francis Ngannou? The truthful answer is, nobody knows. There is no tangible evidence to suggest that Ngannou has made significant changes to negate the strengths of Miocic. Francis is still doing what he does best, knocking dudes out quickly, but he’s always done that. Not one of his last four fights has gone longer than 71 seconds so what happens when the fight goes longer than five minutes? Conditioning and lack of wrestling ability is what lost him the first fight, so without any visible evidence from the fights we have seen in the last three years that these facets have improved, then we’re all just guessing they have.

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2: What can bettors expect?

I think we can expect pretty much the same first round that we saw when these two met in 2018, with Francis coming out fast, swinging with bad intentions, looking to take Stipe’s head off, and Stipe using all his experience and know-how to evade and implement the takedown at the right moment. The key questions are how much has Francis Ngannou’s wrestling defence improved and can he go for longer? If the answer to both of those questions is significantly yes, then he can win this fight.

If you’re betting on this fight, the value is on Francis in the first round or on Stipe in rounds four or five

Stipe Miocic is the greatest UFC Heavyweight of all time for a reason: he can do most things very well. By that I mean he is a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler, a former Golden Gloves local champion, and a purple belt in Brazilina jiu-jitsu, and we have seen all of his skills on display in elite level UFC competition. However, he is 38 years of age now and has had major surgery on an eye injury suffered in the first Cormier fight.

If Francis is fitter and better at keeping this fight standing, then as the minutes go by, Stipe will slow down and become an easier target. With the power that Francis possesses, he only needs to graze you in the right area and you’re going over. The betting market strongly believes that Ngannou will get the job done this time around; however, MMA math (for whatever it’s worth) isn’t so sure. In the history of UFC title fight rematches, the winner of the first fight entering the rematch as champion also wins the second fight 82% of the time.

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2: Where’s the value?

The romantics amongst us are all looking at a Francis Ngannou first round KO/TKO victory. And why not? There is no cuteness to what Francis does, it’s pure seek and destroy, and his last four contests all finished early, with the longest Octagon time being 71 seconds. However, Ngannou’s four fights in the buildup to his first fight with Miocic also all ended in the first round, which didn’t count for anything on the night.

All that Golden Gloves experience came in handy for Stipe Miocic in the first fight, as he was able to read what Francis Ngannou was going to throw and could ride what came his way early. He also knows exactly what he needs to do in the rematch: weather the storm for five to 10 minutes and then go to town on the big guy, who’s 260lb frame will tire dramatically the longer this fight goes on. Weathering that storm though is a lot easier said than done.

If you’re betting on this fight, the value is on Francis in the first round or on Stipe in rounds four or five. For the more cautious bettors, have a look at the Over/Under rounds market, with Over 3.5 rounds looking appealing.

Miocic vs. Ngannou 2 prediction: Stipe Miocic to win via TKO

Bet: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2 odds

UFC 260: Best of the rest

It’s such a shame that the Featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega fell through due to the champ testing positive for Covid-19, as that matchup would have been an absolute cracker. There’s still value though in a couple of other contests on this UFC260 card though.

Tyrone Woodley vs. Vicente Luque predictions

Tyrone Woodley

Vicente Luque

31.52%

68.48%

Former Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley takes on Vicente Luque in his first three-round contest since 2015. This could help him get back to his explosive best but the question hanging over Tyron is does he really want it anymore? Worryingly, he’s lost his last three bouts, albeit to elite competitors, losing every minute of every round.

Luque has won his last two bouts since Stephen Thompson outclassed him in New York and has 11 KO’s amongst his 19 wins. That said, I refuse to believe “T-Wood” is done and I’m edging towards him recapturing some of his former glory and getting his hand raised in this one.

Prediction: Woodley via Decision

Bet: Tyrone Woodley vs. Vicente Luque odds

Thomas Almeida vs. Sean O'Malley's predictions

Thomas Almeida

Sean O'Malley

27.03%

72.97%

Once upon a time, Thomas Almeida was in Sean O’Malley’s shoes - a young hot prospect that the MMA world presented as the next big star. He then ran into Cody Garbrandt and has not looked the same since, losing four of his last five bouts. O’Malley returns after suffering his first defeat (even though he refuses to acknowledge it as a legitimate defeat) at the hands of Chito Vera. The three previous fights to this all came with some type of performance bonus and I fully expect him to return to winning ways, picking up one of those cheques in doing so.

Prediction: O’Malley via KO/TKO

Bet: Thomas Almeida vs. Sean O'Malley odds

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