UFC 260 features a rematch for the heavyweight title between champion Stipe Miocic and top contender Francis Ngannou. Miocic defeated Ngannou in January 2018, dominating on the judge’s scorecards 50-44 across the board. Ngannou mentioned in a recent interview with Joe Rogan how much he learned from the first five-round fight of his career and how that experience against Miocic improved his approach as a fighter. Unfortunately, Alexander Volkanovski versus Brian Ortega for the featherweight title was postponed due to COVID related issues. Expect fireworks as welterweight legend Tyron Woodley and top prospect Vicente Luque will step in place as the final fight of the night prior to the main event.
DraftKings UFC 260 Picks
Sean O’Malley – $9,200
“Suga” Sean O’Malley returns to the Octagon after his first career loss to Marlon Vera via first round TKO in August 2020. Similar to the McGregor versus Poirer fight, Vera strategically utilized the calf kick early in the fight and severely injured O’Malley’s lower leg, leading to an early ground and pound stoppage. While a fantastic leg kick caused the injury, I do not think O’Malley will let this happen again with improved defense and awareness to the calf kick. Despite losing three straight fights, Brazilian Thomas Almeida is more than a formidable opponent. He is arguably the toughest opponent O’Malley will have faced in his career. Although unranked, I believe at his best Suga Sean is one of the top bantamweight fighters in the UFC. His combination of speed, length, and technique will be too much for Almeida to handle.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov – $9,000
The Dagestan fighter and Khabib’s cousin looks for his first UFC victory against Jared Gooden this weekend. Abubakar lost in his UFC debut to David Zawada by a perfect leg triangle choke after he had easily taken him down with his fantastic wrestling game. Gooden does have a wrestling background and various submission victories, but Nurmagomedov is simply at a different level. I expect the Russian to accumulate control time on the ground and potentially earn his first UFC win by submission.
Francis Ngannou – $8,400
Francis “The Predator” Ngannou takes his second stab at the UFC Heavyweight Championship against Stipe Miocic. After the Miocic loss, Ngannou also lost his next fight against Derrick Lewis. Since that point, he has been the one punch knockout artist we have seen his entire career. I would be lying if I said I was not slightly worried that Ngannou’s last two fights that went longer than one round were the losses mentioned above. But just because Ngannou has knocked out his last four opponents in the first round does not mean his cardio and experience hasn’t improved over the last three years. I am banking on improved cardio and experience to predict a knockout win from Ngannou in this rematch heavyweight title fight.
Marc-Andre Barriault – $8,200
The 31-year-old Canadian middleweight has yet to record a UFC victory, but should be able to against Abu Azaitar on Saturday. Regardless of his losses, he has looked good against tough opponents that would all easily defeat Azaitar. I expect the extremely motivated Barriault to knock out Azaitar for his first UFC win.
Alonzo Menifield – $8,100
Light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield enters UFC 260 on a two-fight losing streak, the only two losses in his career. Opponents Devin Clark and Ovince Saint Preux challenged Menifield in the striking department and he was outclassed in both fights. This bout is interesting because Menifield is no longer facing William Knight, who was forced to pull out on Wednesday due to COVID related issues. Instead, he will step in the Octagon against Dana White Contender Series alum Fabio Cherant. Cherant failed to earn a UFC contract that night on July 19, 2019, however he finally makes his UFC debut this weekend after defeating Myron Dennis one month ago in the LFA Light Heavyweight Title fight. Instead of worrying about Knight’s tremendous takedown ability, Menifield will enjoy a striking heavy fight against Cherant. With extra motivation to end the losing streak, Menifield’s experience will get the job done on Saturday via knockout.
Tyron Woodley – $7,100
“The Chosen One” Tyron Woodley also looks to end a losing streak of his own this weekend. His last three opponents are the top competitors in the division. Vicente Luque is not at the level of Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, or Colby Covington just yet. Everyone expects Luque to walk through Woodley. Watch for Woodley to remind UFC fans why he is one of the best welterweights of all time.