Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Francis Ngannou will face the toughest test of his career this weekend (Sun. February 17, 2019). He’ll share the Octagon with former division king Cain Velasquez. The pair will main event UFC on ESPN 1 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the toughest challenges Ngannou might face is the wrestling of Velasquez.
This is an area Ngannou struggled in against Stipe Miocic in their title fight in January of last year. “The Predator” wound up losing the fight via unanimous decision. Speaking to MMA Junkie, Ngannou said he’s “well prepared” for the wrestling of the Mexican star (via MMA Mania):
“I’ve been well prepared,” Ngannou said. “You want me to tell you the gameplay? No. I think we are going to have the same Cain. He still has the experience. He stopped the fight his last fight, he ended up with a win, so he’s still got his confidence.”
Velasquez hasn’t competed in over two years. His last fight took place at UFC 200 in 2016. Velasquez defeated Travis Browne via first-round TKO. After a few years off, the former champion is ready to return to the division he once ruled.
UFC on ESPN 1 Card
Main Card (ESPN)
- Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
- James Vick vs. Paul Felder
- Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
- Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
- Vicente Luque vs. Bryan Barberena
- Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
- Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
- Benito Lopez vs. Manny Bermudez
- Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Andrea Lee
- Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz
- Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders
- Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
- Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
Do you think Ngannou will be able to withstand Velasquez’s wrestling this weekend?