Arguably the biggest fight on the horizon at present will occur in the main event of UFC 220 on January 20, when Stipe Miocic attempts a record-breaking third-straight defense of the UFC heavyweight title opposite Francis Ngannou, a true force of destruction widely regarded as the next big thing in MMA.
While Miocic stands to become the most dominant heavyweight champion in UFC history on this card, he’s actually been pegged as the underdog against the ferocious Ngannou. In the opinion of MMA analyst and Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix contestant Chael Sonnen, however, this is a mistake.
While Sonnen understands the hype behind Ngannou, he believes that UFC 220 will probably be Miocic’s night – though he also admits his predictions rarely prove accurate.
“What do we know about Chael’s predictions? We know they suck,” Sonnen says in the video at the top of this post. “The last guy you want coming to your side and supporting you in battle is The Kiss of Death, Yours Truly, but I’m not seeing this with Ngannou. I think he’s the real deal, I think he’s fantastic, I could go on and on with compliments… but Stipe Miocic… that’s a whole ‘nother deal, we’re talking about a whole other level. There are no questions [about Stipe].”
“We’re surrounded by questions about Ngannou,” Sonnen continued. “How’s he going to do late [in the fight]? How’s he going to do with adversity? How’s he going to do when he’s hit? How’s he going to do when this fight hits the ground? We’re surrounded by all these questions, and the masses have decided to say ‘he’s going to do just fine.’ With Stipe, we don’t have those questions, we’ve seen ’em all [answered].”
“You’re talking about the world champion, you’re talking about one of the biggest stars in the sport,” Sonnen added later, riffing on Miocic. “But he really hasn’t broken through for what he truly is: this special and rare talent.”
“One of these guys is going to come out [on top], but whoever it is is owed their due. It’s time for us to stand back and go ‘welcome to the blank era. I have feeling it’s going to be Stipe and I have a feeling it’s not going to be a great night for Ngannou.”
What do you think of Chael Sonnen’s take on this Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/8/2018.