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UFC 260 predictions — Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou: Fight card, odds, prelims, expert picks

The heavyweight title is on the line once again on Saturday night in Las Vegas. UFC 260 is set to host champion Stipe Miocic taking on top contender and arguably the most feared striker in the sport in Francis Ngannou. This will be the second time these two have met with Miocic earning the nod in the first meeting by decision.

Miocic already has his legacy cemented in the sport’s lore. He became the most accomplished heavyweight champion in UFC history with a third title defense in 2018. After losing the first fight to Daniel Cormier later that year, Miocic rebounded to win the next two in the trilogy and lock in just one title victory shy of Randy Couture’s record for most wins in any major promotion. Now, the native of Cleveland can tie the record with a second defeat of Ngannou. 

But be for warned: the native of Cameroon has been as destructive as ever since the defeat in 2018. Ngannou has ripped off four straight first-round knockouts and logged just two minutes and 43 seconds of Octagon time total in those victories.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a complete preview of UFC 260 below.

With so much happening on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook before we get to our staff predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 260 fight card, odds

  • Francis Ngannou -140 vs. Stipe Miocic (c) +120, heavyweight championship
  • Vicente Luque -240 vs. Tyron Woodley +200, welterweight
  • Sean O’Malley -330 vs. Thomas Almeida +260, bantamweight
  • Miranda Maverick -165 vs. Gillian Robertson +140, women’s flyweight
  • Khama Worthy -130 vs. Jamie Mullarkey +110, lightweight
  • Alonzo Menifield -270 vs. Fabio Cherant +220, light heavyweight
  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov -240 vs. Jared Gooden +200,  welterweight
  • Michał Oleksiejczuk -160 vs. Modestas Bukauskas +135, light heavyweight
  • Omar Morales -195 vs. Shane Young +165, featherweight
  • Marc-Andre Barriault -120 vs. Abu Azaitar +100, middleweight

With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer, co-host of “Morning Kombat”), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (senior editor).

UFC 260 picks, predictions

Miocic (c) vs. Ngannou Miocic Miocic Miocic Miocic Ngannou Miocic
Luque vs. Woodley Luque Luque Woodley Woodley Luque Luque
O’Malley vs. Almeida O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley O’Malley
Maverick vs. Robertson Maverick Maverick Maverick Maverick Maverick Robertson
Worthy vs. Mullarkey Worthy Worthy Worthy Worthy Worthy Worthy
Records to date (2021) 8-6 9-5 10-4 10-4 7-7 5-9

Campbell on why Miocic will win: The question of just how much Ngannou has improved in the three years since he lost his first title shot needs to be offset by remembering just how much better than him Miocic was in nearly every category. At 38, the champ still appears to be at the peak of his powers and has focused on speed for this matchup by trimming down in weight. As long as he can once again survive an early barrage and counter with clean right hands, the opening for takedowns will be there. Despite how much Ngannou may have worked on his conditioning, carrying around that much mass just isn’t conducive to five-round championship fighting. If anyone has the chin to do it again, it’s Miocic.

Brookhouse on why Miocic will win: Ngannou is an intriguing pick and his power is something that renders much of an opponent’s skills meaningless. It takes a single strike from him to completely end a fight. What’s troubling when analyzing his career record is how he has lost every fight that has ever touched the third round. Miocic has a good — but not unbreakable — chin, but showed in the first fight that he’s able to land a bit on his feet and get inside to grapple and neutralize Ngannou. If he takes that approach again, Ngannou’s chances decrease more and more by the minute.

Brookhouse on why Luque will win: Woodley has not been good in recent fights. Over his previous three fights, he has been horribly outstruck and seemed content to sit back and take it rather than try to make adjustments. Luque’s style is not one which allows that kind of passive fighting and it’s hard to see Woodley having made a massive turnaround in his approach to fighting a pressure opponent, opening the door for Luque to add a big name to his resume.

Campbell on why O’Malley win win: Considering he’s still just 29, it seems to early to talk about this being the potential end of Almeida’s UFC run. Yet with losses in four of his last five fights and a chin that has been anything but sturdy, this has “get well fight” written all over it for O’Malley, fresh off his first pro defeat. Almeida will certainly try to make it a shootout yet O’Malley’s speed, precision and unpredictability should be more than enough to handle himself as the 26-year-old reminds us why the buzz surrounding him was so large just one year ago.

Wise on why Robertson will win: This is a pretty sizable step up in competition for Maverick, who has been a dominant force to start her career. With only one UFC fight on her resume, Maverick is getting some sizable respect with six stoppages in eight wins. However, Robertson is a really high level fighter who just can’t seem to get past the best in her weight class. This feels like the right step up for Maverick, but it also feels like a spot where Robertson reminds everyone that she’s among the 10 best in the world at 125 pounds. Also, a friendly reminder that the majority of results at women’s strawweight and flyweight end in decision and the odds here (-150) to reach the scorecards are lower than normal.

Who wins Miocic vs. Ngannou, and which picks do you need to parlay together for a mammoth payout of almost 20-1? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on UFC 260, all from the ultimate insider who went an amazing 58-14 on picks last year.



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