UFC 260 goes down this weekend as heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic puts his title on the line in a rematch against Francis Ngannou. In this article, we will discuss the keys to victory for the men competing on the main card.
Miocic and Ngannou competed for the first time at UFC 220, where Miocic used his wrestling to completely shut down Ngannou and won via unanimous decision. The Cameroonian has since piled up a 4-1 record, winning his last four fights in the first round. Miocic has also had his share of success, beating Daniel Cormier 2-1 in their trilogy.
UFC 260 also features a co-main event fight between Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque. Elsewhere on the card, Sean O’Malley looks to return to winning ways when he takes on Thomas Almeida. The card also features a number of exciting fights.
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou
Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou is a 50-50 fight, despite the champion being the superior fighter. Here are the keys to victory for both men involved in the UFC 260 main event.
Keys To Victory For Stipe Miocic
Wrestling: Stipe Miocic has to do exactly what he did the first time he fought Ngannou. ‘The Predator’ has certainly been working hard on his wrestling at Xtreme Couture MMA, with the likes of Kamaru Usman. However, it still might not be enough if the fight doesn’t end quickly. The wise thing for Miocic to do is to take his opponent down and make him tired, especially early on.
Movement: Ngannou is an explosive fighter, who likes to charge at his opponents. Therefore, Miocic’s movement will be key in this fight, especially when he will be backpedaling as ‘The Predator’ runs at him with mean intentions. Since the fight will take place at the UFC Apex, where the cage is smaller than the usual Octagon, Miocic will have to rely heavily on his head movement and level changes.
Attack The Body: Miocic should also look to attack Ngannou’s body when in the clinch and on the ground. The key would be to gas Ngannou out as soon as possible, and take over from thereon.
"TOO ****ING EASY!" 😤
— UFC (@ufc) March 25, 2021
Keys To Victory For Francis Ngannou
Controlled Aggression: Realistically speaking, Ngannou is outgunned in this one. Therefore, instead of taking the more conservative approach, he should do what he does best. Ngannou is at his best when he’s charging at his opponents with haymakers. This is exactly what he should do come UFC 260. He will have his opportunities when Miocic is changing levels and backpedaling, so the best possible option is to pressure him, and take him out as soon as possible.
Counter Attack: If Ngannou adopts a more conservative approach, he should let Miocic initiate the exchanges and then catch him on counterattacks. The best thing for the Cameroonian to do at UFC 260 is to draw the champion in and land those big shots. It’s no secret that Ngannou’s best chance of winning this fight is on the feet, and in the first couple of rounds. He should come out with an attacking mindset.
Ngannou had our announcers losing their minds 😱 What was your reaction?
— UFC (@ufc) March 24, 2021
Tyron Woodley vs Vicente Luque
Tyron Woodley is looking to bounce back from a three-fight losing skid but has a tough challenge in Vicente Luque standing in front of him.
Keys To Victory Tyron Woodley
Dictate The Pace: UFC 260 will be the first time Tyron Woodley would be competing in a three-round fight since 2016. It’s great news for the former welterweight champion because he has the chance to start early and aggressively. He should land early on his opponent, and dictate the pace of the fight because Luque is a pressure fighter himself. Hitting him early and hard would deter his opponent from exchanging.
Wrestling: Woodley is a fantastic wrestler, fighting a guy who is known for his striking, which also works in his favor. In his last three fights, Woodley fought three incredible wrestlers, who also happened to have better striking. Therefore, he was outscored. With Luque, he has a chance to use his wrestling and bounce back into the win column.
Counter Attack: Luque is an incredible striker, who likes to walk his opponents down. Woodley has made a career out of landing those vicious overhand rights, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t do that against Vicente Luque at UFC 260.
Tyron Woodley focused on changing his mentality ahead of #UFC260
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 24, 2021
Keys To Victory For Vicente Luque
Attack The Legs: Woodley might have lost his last three fights, but he’s still got brute force in his hands. Luque shouldn’t engage in a boxing match with Woodley early on, and instead, should look to attack the legs. He’d surely be vulnerable to takedowns, but it’s a risk worth taking.
Clinch Attacks: Luque has razor-sharp elbows and knees, and he will be looking to combat Woodley’s pressure in the clinch. He’ll certainly end up in a clinch sooner or rather than later because Woodley will try and take him down. That’s exactly when he should use his elbows and knees to try and hurt his opponent.
— UFC (@ufc) March 23, 2021
Sean O’Malley vs Thomas Almeida
After an unfortunate ending to his fight with Marlon Vera at UFC 252, Sean O’Malley will be looking to turn things around against Thomas Almeida, who has his own reasons to win this fight.
Keys To Victory For Sean O’Malley
Dictate The Pace: Sean O’Malley is an incredibly high-volume striker, who lands over 6.5 significant strikes per minute. He starts the fight aggressively and gives no space to his opponents whatsoever. Almeida also lands nearly 5 significant strikes per minute, but he’s not as fast and accurate as O’Malley. Therefore, ‘Suga’ should walk down his opponent right from the word go.
Unpredictability: With Sean O’Malley, you never know what’s coming next. He could land anything at any given time and keeps his opponent guessing. Almeida hasn’t been in great form, and would definitely require time to read O’Malley’s moves.
— UFC (@ufc) March 25, 2021
Keys TO Victory For Thomas Almeida
Attack The Legs: Thomas Almeida is on a downward spiral, but he’s an extremely talented young man. He is a solid Muay Thai fighter and should use his leg kicks against O’Malley, who has struggled against them in the past. It appears a little sinister to attack O’Malley’s weakest point physically, but a fight is a fight if you play by the rules.
Aggressive Start: Almeida has immense knockout power in his hands, as 16 out of his 20 wins have come by the way of knockout. When he steps inside the Octagon at UFC 260, it’ll be a do-or-die scenario. Therefore, he should launch an all-out attack on Sean O’Malley and look to finish him before ‘Suga’ starts getting in rhythm.
It doesn't get any better!
— UFC (@ufc) March 24, 2021
What are your predictions for UFC 260?