At the UFC 218 post-fight presser on Saturday night, a member of the gathered MMA media asked Dana White about the possibility of adding Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou to the UFC 220 card on January 20th.
“I’d love it,” responded the UFC president.
And Dana’s love, hopes and dreams obviously count for a lot.
On Wednesday night, MMAJunkie reported that the heavyweight title bout was indeed being targeted for the Boston event and Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting later confirmed the booking of the fight with his sources.
Miocic won the heavyweight title with a sensational first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum on hostile territory in May of last year and has since made two successful defences, finishing Alistair Overeem inside a round last September and halting former champion Junior dos Santos in just over two minutes in May of this year. Contractual issues, however, have kept Miocic out of the octagon since the Dos Santos fight. These problems now seem to be in the past though, and Miocic will look to set a new record for UFC heavyweight title defences with a win over Ngannou.
If the hulking Ngannou, who only made his UFC debut in December of 2015, hadn’t already captured the imagination with five straight finishes, he certainly did so with his sixth – an otherworldly knockout of the aforementioned Overeem on Saturday night. The Cameroonian-French puncher’s emergence has generated a real buzz about the UFC heavyweight division, something that has been lacking for quite some time.
Miocic vs. Ngannou is the second title fight to be added to UFC 220, which takes place at Boston’s TD Garden, as a light-heavyweight title clash between Daniel Cormier(c) and Swiss clock-cleaner Volkan Oezdemir had already been announced.