UFC on ESPN 3 | Squared Up: Ngannou vs. Dos Santos

Jason Paglia

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 5:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019 5:05 PM UTC

The UFC kicks down the door of the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota this Saturday night for UFC on ESPN 3. You would think, coming off an abysmal fight card at UFC Fight Night 154, this card would be the truth, right? Think again fight fans.
<p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;iframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https://www.youtube.com/embed/SuO-EE5psDM\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;"}[/]</p><p>Although slightly better, it’s still a fight card that would have embarrassed Joe Silva a decade ago. The main event however, should not disappoint. Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos were first supposed to fight at UFC 215. An injury in practice during the run up to the event would force one party to pull out of the fight, and here we are. When two heavyweight’s fight in the UFC, it’s generally entertaining due to the force behind every punch, but these two heavyweights are especially violent. Dave held it down for me last weekend but I am back for this breakdown b*****s. Let’s do what we do and break it down to a fine powder.</p><p> </p><div><h2 style="text-align:center">FRANCIS NGANNOU (13-3) vs JUNIOR DOS SANTOS (21-5)</h2><div style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/int/ultimate-fighting-championship/junior-dos-santos-vs-francis-ngannou-3820818/?mtid=126" target="_blank" title="Ngannou vs Dos Santos Odds Board"><strong>04:35 - Sunday 30<sup>th</sup>, Jun 2019</strong></a></div><div> </div><div> </div><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d13a83c64fdb6e45f164e2e/original-francis-ngannou" style="height:413px;width:620px" /></p><p><strong>Francis Ngannou:</strong></p><p>Saturday, Francis Ngannou walks into the Octagon the #2 ranked Heavyweight fighter in the world. When you think about where it all started, born in a small village in Cameroon, to the #2 heavyweight for the biggest MMA promotion in the world, It’s incredible. He moved to France without a dollar in his pocket at the age of 26. He lived on the streets of Paris, homeless and destitute until he began training in boxing for free at a local gym. Under Didier Carmont he transitioned to MMA and became a professional in November, 2013. He would fight for a regional European promotion until the UFC finally gave him a chance as a last minute replacement on the December 19, 2015 fight card. He won that night by knockout and the rest, as they say, is history. He would win six fights in the UFC before experiencing his first loss against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220. That night was for the UFC heavyweight championship. Every night since, he has been working toward another title opportunity. A win over JDS this Saturday night would all but seal that opportunity. Below is a look at Francis Ngannou by the numbers.</p><p><strong>STATS:</strong></p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d13a8b364fdb6e45f164e2f/original-francis-ngannou-stats" style="width:620px;height:123px" /></p><p><strong>PROS</strong>:</p><p>• <strong>Power</strong> (Nobody in the UFC has more power in his fists than Ngannou. In fact, as of now, nobody on earth has more power in his hands than Ngannou. He holds the world record for most punching power per square inch. That should tell you why this is in the PRO column.)</p><p>• <strong>Speed</strong> (If he isn’t the fastest heavyweight in the division, it’s Stipe Miocic. Either way he is up there, in terms of everything. Hand speed, movement, takedown defense. He is just fast.)</p><p>• <strong>Athleticism</strong> (The man might be the most ridiculous physical specimen on earth, never mind the UFC.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedown Defense </strong>(His sprawl is really solid. He defends 3 of every 4 takedowns attempted.)</p><p>• <strong>Power</strong> (It is so absurd, I had to say it again.)</p><p><br /><strong>CONS:</strong></p><p>• <strong>MMA</strong> (I know that sounds ridiculous, but he isn’t an MMA fighter in the traditional sense. He may have a few submissions in a european promotion but that means nothing to me. He doesn’t take his opponents down, with the exception of 1 kamura we have seen zero BJJ from him and he barely uses his legs. He isn’t an MMA fighter. He has one thing that brought him to the dance, DEVASTATING punching power.)</p><p>• <strong>Gas Tank</strong> (He may look like a freak and he may be a great athlete, but that doesn’t mean all those muscles work for very long. Muscles need 3 times the amount of oxygen than fat. When you have muscles on top of muscles on top of muscles, you have about 7 minutes to take care of your business. If Ngannou hasn’t knocked JDS out in the first 7 minutes he is in trouble.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedowns</strong> (The stats on the UFC site say he has attempted 0 takedowns <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/" target="_blank" title="Fighting Odds Board">in the UFC</a>. That seems wrong, but we’ll go with it. If that is the case, it’s a CON.)</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d13a95164fdb6e45f164e30/original-junior-dos-santos" style="width:620px;height:426px" /></p><p><strong>Junior Dos Santos:</strong></p><p>Junior Dos Santos (JDS) walks into the Octagon Saturday night as the #3 ranked heavyweight fighter in the world. JDS has done everything there is to do in this division. He is the former UFC heavyweight champion and has beaten 5 former UFC heavyweight champions. He has been a top ten staple in the division for the last decade. What has been surprising however, is his recent resurgence. People may have left him for dead a few years ago, possibly me included but he has really hit his stride late in his career. He has won 4 of his last 5 fights in the UFC, the only loss coming in a title fight against then champion Stipe Miocic. Its worth noting however, that JDS does have a victory over Miocic from earlier in his career. Like Ngannou, Junior Dos Santos has a big opportunity in front of him. You would think the winner of this fight will get a title opportunity after Miocic gets his shot. This could be the last chance for an aging fighter to get back to the pinnacle of the sport. Can he do it? Well one thing is certain, Ngannou presents a problem that JDS has never dealt with, absurd power. He has fought heavy hitters before, it’s natural in the division he has fought in for a decade. However, he hasn’t fought this kind of power before. This is the type of power that can give you brain damage. Below is a look at Junior Dos Santos by the numbers.</p><p><strong>STATS</strong>:</p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d13a9d564fdb6e45f164e31/original-junior-dos-santos-stats" style="width:620px;height:123px" /></p><p><strong>PROS</strong>:</p><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (He was the best pure striker in the division for a long time. Now its either him, Stipe or Overeem. He is a real striker, fluid movement, angles, and combinations.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedown Defense</strong> (Excellent takedown defense. Stops 4 of every 5 takedowns attempted. Against Ngannou he might not have to use it, but the tool is there should he need it.)</p><p>• <strong>Cardio</strong> (JDS has been physically tested many times and his gas tank always survives the fight, including multiple 5 round fights before.)</p><p>• <strong>BJJ</strong> (He might only have one submission victory but he knows what to do when he is on the mat. He has a BJJ black belt under Yuri Carlton to prove it.)</p><p><strong>CONS</strong>:</p><p>• <strong>Size</strong> (JDS’ size would normally not be a con but, when you are fighting a monster, you look like a man. He is smaller everywhere.)</p><p>• <strong>Strikes Absorbed</strong> (This is the one stat / CON that matters the most. Historically Junior Dos Santos absorbs 3.07 strikes per minute in his career. If he doesn’t get that number way down on Saturday night, this fight will not be very long. You can not absorb over 3 significant strikes per minute from Francis Ngannou. If you do it’s sleepy time.</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5cf03e868744ba9e8d3ce427/original-ufc-153-veredict" style="width:620px;height:343px" /></p><p><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></p><p>This is a tough fight to handicap. It really comes down to one thing, can Junior Dos Santos survive the first round. If he can he probably wins the fight. Francis Ngannou is ridiculously dangerous in the first round of fights. He has all his power and stamina which means he will be head hunting and looking for the knockout. If you can survive that round, he starts to fade badly midway through the second round. At that point Junior Dos Santos will begin to take over the fight and impose his will. He just has to get there. JDS does have good movement and footwork so he may be able to avoid the kill shot.</p><p>One issue I do see is he is an old school boxer who believes in the counterpunching game. He does not mind taking a punch to land a punch. You can’t take Ngannou’s punches. People that do usually wake up about a half hour after the fight is over. As good and as freakish as Francis Ngannou has looked in the past, one fight sticks in my mind more than most, the fight against the Black Beast. Derrick Lewis and Ngannou fought in the single most embarrassing fight in the history of the sport. They set the division back a decade. Together they threw the least amount of punches thrown in a fight that went the distance EVER. They basically stood in front of each other and bounced around for three rounds. Sometimes Ngannou is afraid to pull the trigger, if that happens, he loses Saturday night and badly. If he comes out of the gate as aggressive as he did in the Miocic fight and finds JDS’ chin, he wins. If JDS survives like Stipe Miocic did and turns the tables I think he can win this fight, and I lean towards that having a better chance to happen than Ngannou landing one punch.</p><p>We are going to approach this fight in two ways. Rather than taking Ngannou and lay a big favorite price, we are taking FIGHT DOES NOT START ROUND 2 at (5.00). If Ngannou wins it’s probably in Round 1, or maybe JDS catches him in round 1. The other angle we are taking in this fight is JUNIOR DOS SANTOS at (3.00). If JDS wins the fight we pick up one unit. If he wins in round one we pick up six units. If Ngannou wins, it’s probably in round one and we still pick up three units on the fight. <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tips/fighting/" target="_blank" title="UFC/Fighting Betting Tips">I think that is the best chance at picking up some profit</a> in this main event. That’s it MMA fans, let’s get it!</p><p><strong>THE PICK</strong></p><ul> <li>Fight ends in Round 1 at 4/1 (5.00) - 1 unit</li> <li>Junior Dos Santos at 2/1 (3.00) - 1 unit</li></ul></div>
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