Fight Study (3/27/21)
The Main Event of UFC 260 is full of promise as the #1 ranked contender in the heavyweight division, Francis Ngannou, takes on the current champ, Stipe Miocic, in a rematch and heavyweight title fight. Both fighters are on active win streaks, and Ngannou is the narrow betting favorite. He will carry the higher salaries in DFS contests with a price tag of $8,400 on DraftKings and $20 on Fanduel. The champ is priced at $7,800 and $19 respectively. As a title fight and Main Event, this fight has been scheduled for five rounds, however, this fight is a heavy favorite to finish inside the distance as a -435 favorite to do so.
Francis Ngannou is heavyweight with terrifying power in his hands. He has won 4 consecutive fights – all concluding in the first round. He is 15-3 as a professional with 11 wins by KO/TKO and 4 wins by submission. He has only gone the distance three times in his career, and he lost the decision in all of them. One of those losses was to Miocic back in January of 2018. Ngannou has stated that he is not the same fighter he was then, and that he is more prepared this time around. Since his UFC debut in 2015, Ngannou has 10 finishes with 8 coming in the first round. He has an average fight time of 5:37 and is a -120 favorite to finish the champ on Saturday. Of all fighters in UFC 260 with more than one UFC fight on their resume, Ngannou ranks third in fantasy average at 82.92 FPPF (DraftKings scoring).
Miocic is second on that same list with a fantasy average of 92.59 FPPF. He has a career record of 20-3 with 15 wins by KO/TKO and 5 wins by decision. His last 3 fights were all fought against the former champ/champ, Daniel Cormier. In the first of those three, Miocic lost the title, but he went on to win fights two and three in the series. In his first bout with Ngannou, he was able to weather the storm and took advantage of his opponent in the later rounds. He will need to replicate this feat again if he is to retain the belt. Although Miocic stands equal in height to Ngannou, he gives up 3 inches in reach. In order to be successful on Saturday, he will want to take Ngannou down where his fists cannot do their best work. He must also hope his chin will hold up where most others have failed.
Ngannou has only been beyond the second round twice in his career, and he lost both of those fights. Look for the challenger to come out strong and seek a quick finish. Miocic will need to weather than storm and look again to do his best work after Ngannou has begun to fade. If Miocic can survive the first two rounds, his odds will rise significantly. I expect he will try to change levels with Ngannou and to challenge his conditioning by forcing him to grapple away his gas tank. Miocic is very competent champion, and I for one like his chances in this fight. This fight is narrowly handicapped, however, and a win for either man should not surpirse.
Given Ngannou’s ability to finish opponents with one punch, his scoring potential in this fight is much higher than that of Miocic. However, if Miocic does have an answer for Ngannou, he will likely be able to accumulate scoring over the course of mulitple rounds. This makes both fighters solid plays in GPP contests. Ngannou is the preferred play, but I would be sure to have exposure on both sides of this fight in mass multi-entry contests. This fight deserves heavy exposure as it has the highest combined average for any two fighters matched up in UFC 260. In particular, the pricing for both fighters on DraftKings is much lower in respect to the field than on Fanduel. This only makes the value of both fighters all the better on that platform.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 260 on March 27.
UFC 260: FIGHT #1, Ngannou vs Miocic
For Fight Study on UFC 260: FIGHT #2, Luque vs Woodley, click HERE.