(C) STIPE MIOCIC vs. (#1) FRANCIS NGANNOU
(C) DANIEL CORMIER vs. (#2) VOLKAN OEZDEMIR
TICKETS FOR UFC 220 MIOCIC vs. NGANNOU AT TD GARDEN GO ON SALE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
Las Vegas – UFC will return to Boston with a pair of blockbuster title fights. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic looks to set a new divisional title-defense record when he battles ferocious knockout artist and No.1-ranked Francis Ngannou. Also, light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier defends against power punching and No.2-ranked Volkan Oezdemir. UFC 220: MIOCIC vs. NGANNOU goes down Saturday, January 20 from TD Garden and will be available live on pay-per-view.
Miocic (17-2, fighting out of Independence, Ohio) has his eyes on the record books. The former NCAA Division I wrestler and Golden Gloves boxing champion captured the UFC belt with a stunning first-round knockout win over Fabrício Werdum last year. Since then, he’s secured consecutive knockout victories over Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos to tie Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar, Tim Sylvia and Randy Couture on the consecutive heavyweight title-defense list.
Standing in his way is perhaps the scariest fighter on the UFC roster in Ngannou (11-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. by way of Paris, France and Batie, Cameroon). Formerly homeless on the streets of Paris, the powerful striker discovered MMA in 2013 and began his meteoric rise to the top of the heavyweight ranks. Joining the UFC roster only two years ago, Ngannou has turned heads with stoppage wins over Andrei Arlovski, Curtis Blaydes and Luis Henrique. At UFC 218 earlier this month, he sent shockwaves through the heavyweight division with his spectacular one-punch knockout victory against Overeem.
Will Miocic make history, or will Ngannou realize his dream of being UFC heavyweight champion?
Cormier (19-1 1NC, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) will look to put his no contest against Jon Jones behind him with a dominant performance against Oezdemir. Originally capturing the championship with a submission win over Anthony Johnson, the two-time wrestling Olympian secured successful title defenses against Alexander Gustafsson and Johnson, in a highly anticipated rematch. A victory over Oezdemir reaffirms Cormier’s spot as the 205-pound king.
A heavy-handed kickboxer, Oezdemir (15-1, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Fribourg, Switzerland) has rapidly ascended the UFC light heavyweight rankings since making his debut less than one year ago. Following a short-notice decision win over Ovince Saint Preux in February, he secured sensational knockout wins against Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. With Cormier in his sights, Oezdemir aims to become the first Swiss world champion in UFC history.
Additional bouts on the card include:
· Talented striker Gian Villante (15-8, fighting out of Bellmore, New York) looks to return to the win column when he faces Francimar Barroso (19-5 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
· In a thrilling battle of bantamweight contenders, No.10-ranked Thomas Almeida (22-2, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) locks horns with No.14 Rob Font (14-3, fighting out of Woburn, Mass.)
· No.10-ranked flyweight contender Dustin Ortiz (17-7, fighting out of Franklin, Tenn.) takes on No.12 Alexandre Pantoja (18-2, fighting out of Arraial Do Cabo, Brazil)
· In a clash of top featherweight prospects, Calvin Kattar (17-2, fighting out of Methuen, Mass.) meets undefeated Shane Burgos (10-0, fighting out of Monroe, New York)
· Islam Makhachev (14-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) aims to keep his momentum rolling when he squares off with lightweight veteran Gleison Tibau (41-11, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)
· No.15-ranked strawweight Maryna Moroz (8-2, fighting out of Volnogorsk, Ukraine) faces Jamie Moyle (4-2, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)
· Boston’s own Kyle Bochniak (7-2, fighting out of Boston, Mass.) looks to blow the roof off TD Garden when he faces Brandon Davis (8-2, fighting out of D’Iberville, Miss.)