Dana White has confirmed last week’s report of Cain Velasquez making his long-awaited return to competition at UFC on ESPN 1 when Velasquez headlines the card opposite Francis Ngannou. ESPN broke the news of White’s confirmation late Friday evening. UFC on ESPN 1 takes place February 17th from the Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Phoenix, Arizona.
The last time we saw Cain Velasquez in action was at the landmark UFC 200 event, where he turned in a dominant performance over Travis Brown, knocking him out in the very first round. Cain Velasquez is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion who some believe is the most talented heavyweight in the history of the UFC. And when the reigning champion of the division echoes that opinion, it gives you a glimpse into how dominant and impressive Velasquez has been when active.
Welcoming Cain Velasquez back will be none other than Francis Ngannou, who last competed last month at UFC Fight Night 141 where he got back on track from back-to-back losses by earning a TKO victory over the man who was arguably the hottest heavyweight in the division, Curtis Blaydes. Currently ranked #3 in the world, a victory over Ngannou will immediately catapult Velasquez right back into the rankings and directly into title contention, where he could potentially become a three-time world champion. Likewise, a victory over Cain Velasquez could be enough to earn the knockout artist a chance at redemption in a second potential crack at the heavyweight championship.
With this bout now confirmed by Dana White, the current UFC on ESPN 1 card now includes:
Main Event: Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou
Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
James Vick vs. Paul Felder
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey
Bryan Barberena vs. Vicente Luque
Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
Andrea Lee vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
Aleksandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz
Luke Sanders vs. Renan Barão
Manny Bermudez vs. Benito Lopez
Who do you believe will get the win in this heavyweight blockbuster? Cain Velasquez or Francis Ngannou?