After Francis Ngannou’s highlight-reel knockout of Alistair Overeem at this past Saturday’s UFC 218, it wasn’t a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ when it came to getting a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
On Wednesday night, we may have found out the ‘when’: Saturday, January 20th at UFC 220 in Boston, Mass., first reported by MMA Junkie and confirmed by MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
UFC has not officially announced the bout as of this writing.
Ngannou’s rise to a title shot was accelerated after the Overeem victory, his 10th straight and sixth in the Octagon where he’s finished everyone he’s faced. In Miocic, he’ll face the man who has held the title since May 2016 and has won five straight, including two successful defenses of the gold. He’s one away from setting the UFC heavyweight record.
After downing Junior dos Santos in May, Cleveland, Ohio’s favorite son sat on the sidelines with a contract dispute.
The fight should headline a show with a co-main event of light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier vs. light heavyweight prospect Volkan Oezdemir who burst onto the scene this year with three wins, two by first round knockout. This will be Cormier’s first fight since losing the title to Jon Jones this summer and then being given the title back after another Jones USADA violation.
UFC hasn’t been in Boston since a January 2016 FS1 show headlined by then-bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz vs. TJ Dillashaw.