The UFC is in Boston on Saturday for UFC 220, and the promotion has brought the big guys to Beantown for the pay-per-view event.
The title fight is one of the most anticipated heavyweight fights in recent history, and the pairing is legitimately receiving its fair share of exaggeration. Champion Stipe Miocic is set to set the heavyweight record for three consecutive defenses with a win. On the way to that record is Francis Ngannou, a powerful puncher who has been training in MMA only since 2013.
In the side event, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier tries to defend his title and put some bad memories behind he meets Volkan Oezdemir, who got his chance in the golden UFC after three fights with the promotion.
UFC 220 takes place in TD Garden, and the main card is broadcast on PPV after the preliminaries on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Here are 10 reasons to see the event.
1. There are questions
We know that Ngannou has the power to drive away anyone who is foolish enough to give him the least opportunity to do so. We also know that it has shown progression each time it has entered the octagon. However, the list of things we do not know about Ngannou, the No. 2 fighter in the US TODAY Sports / MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight ranking, it's quite long.
We do not know about your cardio. We do not know about your fight. We do not know how he handles adversity. We do not know how he has prepared for Miocic with so little time since his most recent fight. We know about these things when it comes to Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). We also know that he has faced tougher competition than Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC). However, we do not know if Miocic's number 1 is the right man to put Ngannou to the test in the previous categories.
The possibility of obtaining answers to these questions makes this fight attractive. That and the fact that these two men have stopped their four most recent opponents in the first round.
2. Clean It
Cormier's main priority (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) at UFC 220 is to retain his title against Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). The 205-pound 205-ranked fighter's other goal is to erase the memory of his UFC 214 loss to Jon Jones, who is ranked No. 1 and is still dealing with a drug suspension.
"I feel that after the fight, there is a stench, a stench in me just from a bad fight, a bad buildup, a bad result, a bad whole," Cormier said at a recent press conference. "I have to do well not only by defeating Volkan Oezdemir, but by really dominating and crushing him." I'm going to crush him on January 20. That's the only way I can feel better as a competitor. "
Later, Jones' fight was declared void and the title returned to Cormier after Jones tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, but that does not mean that Cormier the competitor sees the result as more than a loss.
Oezdemir, who ranks 7th in the division, wants to become the only man other than Jones to defeat Cormier.
3. The bar has been established
The fight between Shane Burgos and Calvin Kattar is the only featherweight contest on the main card.The victorious 145 pounds at the recent UFC Fight Night event 124 – Jeremy Stephens and Darren Elkins, who won the fight night bonuses for their second-round stoppage wins – set the bar high enough for the division in 2018.
The Bronx-born brawl (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC ) and Kattar Massachusetts-born (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has the potential to be another bonus winner for the featherweight category.  The undefeated Burgos, which is an honorable mention of qualification, is an entertaining fighter. He has powerful and fast counterattacks and has knocked out three of his five most recent opponents. Burgos also trusts, bordering on arrogant at times, and without fear of having fun in the cage. He looked excellent in the dismantling of Godofredo Pepey in his most recent fight.
Kattar had his first fight in the UFC two weeks in advance while he was in what, according to him, was a suboptimal form. He overcame these impediments to publish a unanimous decision victory over Andre Fili, who extended his winning streak to nine.
4. It's about the start
Two light heavyweights that have had mixed results in the UFC, Gian Villante (15-9 MMA, 5-6 UFC) and Francimar Barroso (19-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC), They meet on the PPV Card.
The interesting thing about this pairing is how these two struggle. Both throw powerful blows, but they go to different parts of the body and compete at a different pace.
One could describe Villante as a scout. He also tends to increase his production and becomes a little reckless when he is hit or injured by his opponent. While it is a friendly style with fans, it has cost him potentially to win.
Barroso marks a slower pace and tends to mix his punches and his goals. Where Villante needs to reign in his aggression, Barroso needs to show more sense of urgency.
5. Looking to climb
It is not difficult to read in the reserve between Thomas Almeida and Rob Font. The winner will continue to climb the bantamweight ladder, and it is likely that the loser will be relegated to the goalkeeper status.
Both fighters were in long winning streaks until 2016. Almeida (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), which is currently ranked 13th in the division, was undefeated in 21 fights until Cody Garbrandt knocked him out. Font (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) had won 11 games in a row before losing a decision to John Lineker. Both are 1-1 from those defeats and losses.
This should be a high energy fight. Font's average fight time of 7:20 places him third in the 135-pound division, while Almeida's 7:40 puts him in the No. 4 spot.
Regarding the style, this is a good confrontation. Almeida is aggressive and striking, while Font is more tactical.
6. Here's some potential
The closing fight on the FS1 card faces Kyle Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) against Brandon Davis (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC). With the styles that these feather weights employ, this Pick & # 39; em showdown has the potential to be a fun fight.
Davis put an entertaining scrap on Dante White's Series 4 Dtender event, where he won a decision with a high-performance punch attack. Davis was aggressive, confident and had no fear of jaw with his opponent during the fight.
Bochniak comes from a disappointing performance against Jeremy Kennedy, who defeated Bochniak eight times on his way to a decision win.
7. Let's try this again
If the welterweight match between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi looks familiar, it's because they fought at UFC 218. If the rematch is something like the first contest, the fans are in luck.
Alhassan (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Homasi (11-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) participated in an energetic fight in Detroit that seemed to have the characteristics of a memorable fight. That changed to the 4:21 mark of Round 1 when Herb Dean shook things up after Alhassan knocked Homasi to the canvas with punches. As soon as Dean broke the fighters, Homasi protested. The repetitions seemed to indicate that it was a premature stoppage.
The victory gave Alhassan his eighth knockout victory in the first round. After the contest, the Ghanaian said he was ready for a rematch.
"I would not mind fighting him again just to make sure I leave him next time," Alhassan told MMAjunkie.
8. Here is his exam
Dustin Ortiz is not known for his power, but in his most recent bout, he set the UFC flyweight record for the fastest final with a 15-second knockout of Hector Sandoval. His opponent in Boston, Alexandre Pantoja, comes from a third round submission victory over Neil Seery.
Although ranked 14th in flyweight, Pantoja (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has not been tested against top-level competition out of a 2010 loss to Jussier Formiga. He gets that test in the No. 12 Ortiz ranking (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC).
Ortiz's style should give an adequate evaluation of Pantoja's skill set. If Pantoja can win this fight, he will show that he is ready for the top 10 competition. If Ortiz emerges victorious, he will win his first winning streak of two fights in UFC since 2014.
9. Destroying the demolitions
One could argue that Enrique Barzola should be 4-0 in the UFC. His only defeat was a split decision loss to Kyle Bochniak that could easily have gone in another direction. In his fifth fight for the promotion, Barzola faces Matt Bessette in a featherweight bout.
In his three victories in the UFC, Barzola has taken 22 demolitions, so it is no secret where his strengths lie. The Peruvian has been working with American Top Team to shore up his amazing game. He could test his development in that department against Bessette (22-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC), knowing that he can quickly deploy his wrestling if he gets into trouble. In addition to his wrestling game, Barzola (13-3-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) sets a fast pace and has excellent cardiovascular training.
Bessette makes her UFC debut in her thirtieth professional fight. He was the current CES featherweight champion before signing with the UFC, and he also fought with Bellator.
10. Solid Opener
The UFC has a developing star in its hands in the light Islam Makhachev. The world champion in sambo combat is a teammate of Khabib Nurmagomedov. His only defeat is a knockout for Adriano Martins in which Makhachev got a bit aggressive. Since then, he won two fights by decision. His most recent victory was against Nik Lentz.
Makhachev (14-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) faces UFC veteran Gleison Tibau in the opening bout of UFC 220. Tibau (33-12 MMA, 16-10 UFC) makes his comeback after a suspension Two years ago due to two failed USADA drug tests related to his combat UFC Fight Night 77 against Abel Trujillo. Tibau won that fight by submission, but then a defeat was ruled out.
Makhachev is fantastic in demolitions. On the ground it has an incredibly heavy top game. He achieved almost 12 minutes of control against Lentz. The only criticism Makhachev faces is that he is not aggressive enough to reach the finals. But it does have some charisma (via Instagram):
For more information on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.