Stipe Miocic opened as the underdog in potential fights against Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones. Photo @ufc (Twitter)
- Stipe Miocic defended his heavyweight belt at UFC 252 by defeating Daniel Cormier
- Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou are the most likely next fights for Miocic
- See the opening odds and who presents value for the potential showdowns below
Stipe Miocic cemented his claim as the greatest UFC heavyweight of all-time by defeating Daniel Cormier at UFC 252.
Following the win, Jon Jones took to social media to say he is moving up to heavyweight and explained how he would beat the champ. The problem for Jones is, Dana White has made it clear Francis Ngannou is next in line for the title shot.
With uncertainty surrounding Miocic’s next fight, odds have opened for potential fights vs both Jones and Ngannou.
Miocic vs Jones & Miocic vs Ngannou Opening Odds
*All odds taken August 17th
Who is Next for Miocic?
Stipe Miocic is fresh off his title defense on Saturday night and already it is clear his next fight will be Francis Ngannou or Jon Jones if the UFC wants to put together a super-fight.
How about Miocic vs Ngannou 2 for the last PPV of the year? @danawhite @ufc
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 16, 2020
Although Jones was talking about moving up to heavyweight during the fight, that is nothing new – he’s talked about moving up for years now.
Without any assurance Jones is serious, Francis Ngannou will be next in line for the heavyweight champion.
I’d expect the fight to take place sometime early in 2021 following Miocic’s recovery.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Should Ngannou Be Favored?
Francis Ngannou should absolutely not be the favorite against Stipe Miocic. The two already fought at UFC 220 in January of 2018 with Miocic dominating the fight. He won 50-44 on every judge’s scorecard, winning every single round – with one even being 10-8.
Although Ngannou is on a four-fight winning streak – with all four wins coming by first-round knockout – I don’t understand why he is the favorite. The fight against Miocic exposed his takedown defense and he hasn’t had the chance to show off his wrestling since then.
In the first fight, we saw Miocic was able to avoid the power shots of Ngannou. I believe he would use his wrestling again to eventually gas Ngannou out and this time finish the challenger.
So, at +175 I think there is massive value to be made on Miocic.
Pick: Stipe Miocic (+175)
Would Jones Earn Champ Status?
Jon Jones is arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all-time. He has been dominating the light heavyweight division for years and many have wanted to see him move up to heavyweight. I truly believe this is the perfect time for “Bones” to move up to heavyweight as I favor him against Miocic.
Avoid Stipe’s right hand, I’m too fast, I’ll be too strong when the time is right and have way too much energy. Soon and very soon I’ll be considered the baddest man on this planet
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 16, 2020
Jones would be the faster fighter and is the better striker and wrestler. The only advantage Miocic would have is power as even in size, Jones has long limbs and Miocic is a smaller heavyweight.
I understand the reason why Jon Jones is the favorite and at -150 I think that is a fair price to open him at. At this line, I think we would see public action on both men leaving the odds to close around that number.
Pick: Jon Jones (-150)
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.