Five reasons why Francis Ngannou is the favourite at UFC 260

On Saturday night, Francis Ngannou will attempt to dethrone Stipe Miocic and become the new UFC heavyweight champion.

That’s the definition of a daunting task but if anyone can do it, ‘The Predator’ has the power to topple him.

The quest to becoming the baddest man on the planet has been a long one for Francis. Still, even after his setbacks, many bookmakers and pundits still favour him to beat Miocic.

That may seem odd given Stipe’s many accomplishments, but we’ve thought of a few reasons why this might be the case.

Learning lessons from UFC 220

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Ngannou’s coronation was actually supposed to happen three years ago.

Fresh off of a devastating knockout win over Alistair Overeem, Ngannou was rushed into a title fight against Miocic. The Ohio native was ultimately just too smart for Francis but after having so much time to analyse what went wrong, there’s every reason to believe the rematch could be different.

Media darling

There’s no way around it – the media love Francis Ngannou.

From his upcoming appearance in the new Fast & Furious movie to his freakish strength, there’s a lot to love. We aren’t suggesting that’s going to improve his chances but for the bookies, it’s difficult to ignore how much hype there still is behind this guy, which could go some way in tipping the betting scales.

Stipe’s Cormier wars

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The last three years of Stipe Miocic’s career have revolved around one man: Daniel Cormier.

DC knocked Miocic out in their superfight back in July 2018 before the two battled it out in 2019 and again in 2020. Stipe won the last two fights of the trilogy, but you can bet he left a piece of himself in the cage each time they fought.

Usman in his corner

Need to improve your wrestling? We’ve got just the man for the job.

Kamaru Usman is the reigning UFC welterweight champion and he also happens to be a good friend of Francis Ngannou. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ will be in Ngannou’s corner at UFC 260 and has been assisting him in training, all with the hope of helping him become the third African-born UFC champ.

Four-fight knockout streak

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Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

These are the four men that Francis Ngannou has knocked out since losing to Stipe Miocic. In all four instances, the fight didn’t go longer than 90 seconds.

If that isn’t enough of a reason to believe in what he can do, we don’t know what is.

Featured image credit: Getty