Yesterday it was reported that the UFC was looking to book two big title fights for their second PPV in March. This morning, the news broke that the promotion had finalized the co-main event with Alexander Volkanovski taking on Brian Ortega.
At the UFC Fight Island 7 post-fight press conference, White announced that they had finalized the main event. White said that Stipe Miocic (20-3) will be defending his heavyweight title in a rematch against Francis Ngannou (15-3) on March 27th.
UFC 260 now has their two title fights officially booked and the main event is one that fans have been waiting for. The heavyweight division has been halted over the last few years with the trilogy between Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
Miocic has fought Cormier in all three of his last three fights. Their trilogy concluded at UFC 252 when Miocic was able to win by unanimous decision. Outside of the first fight where Miocic was knocked out by DC, Miocic hasn’t lost since 2014.
Miocic first fought Francis Ngannou back at UFC 220 in January of 2018. Ngannou was riding a ton of momentum and I think he bought into his own hype. Miocic humbled the challenger and dominated him over five rounds.
UFC champion as the underdog?
That loss did a number on Francis Ngannou. He was being built up as this untouchable force in the UFC and Stipe Miocic just completely controlled him. The fight shook him so bad that in his next fight against Derrick Lewis, he hardly threw any strikes.
As a result, he lost his second straight fight. However, after that loss, Ngannou rededicated himself to the sport and he hasn’t looked back. The Predator will go into the rematch on a four-fight winning streak.
However, it’s not just the fact that he’s won four in a row. It’s the fact that none of those fights have gone more than 71 seconds. He last fought at UFC 249 where he knocked out the previously unbeaten, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, in just 20 seconds.
It’s a weird thing because I think Ngannou will actually be the favorite at UFC 260 despite losing to Miocic the first time around. I think Ngannou is the best he’s ever been and Stipe’s going to need his best effort on March 27th to retain his title.