Now This Would be Immense… Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez is Set to Take on Top Contender Francis Ngannou in a Battle of the Behemoths…
Reports have emerged in the past few hours that former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is set to emerge from his two-year hiatus and fight top-contender Francis Ngannou in the main event of ESPN’s first ever UFC card. Fans are very excited by the potential return of the man widely regarded as the best heavyweight of all time.
Velasquez has had a history of injuries over the past couple of years. He last fought against Travis Browne, winning by TKO at UFC 200. However, that was back in 2016. Since then, Cain has been injured and flirted with the WWE. At the age of 36, many fans were beginning to give up hope of seeing him fight again.
A fight against Ngannou could be the springboard to launch him back into title contention. It would also be a chance for ‘The Predator’ to vanquish his wrestling demons. This could be a very interesting one.
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) December 12, 2018
The former champion appeared to signal his imminent return with a cryptic message on Twitter, that you can see above. He both won and lost his first title in an exciting rivalry with Junior Dos Santos. Eventually, he would reclaim his belt from the Brazilian and defend it twice, before surrendering it to Fabricio Werdum.
With Daniel Cormier set to retire from active competition in 2019, the time is definitely right for Velasquez to gain some momentum. The title could soon be vacant and he will definitely be fancying his chances of getting the strap back, in a division which is historically thin.
UFC is in serious talks to book Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou as the main event for UFC Phoenix on Feb. 17, according to multiple sources. The fight isn't finalized just yet, sources say, but is currently moving in the right direction. https://t.co/ujYDrFevm4
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 14, 2018
It must be said that this fight isn’t official yet, but negotiations are in an advanced position. It looks like it will go ahead, as you can see from the tweet by respected MMA journalist Ariel Helwani. The fight against Ngannou would be the main event of UFC Phoenix on Feb. 17, which will be available to view on ESPN.
Velasquez headlined the UFC’s debut on Fox back in 2011 and now looks to help usher in the new era on ESPN. It’s definitely a positive step for the UFC. He is definitely a major draw, and this is a high-level match-up.
Tough to Call
Without a doubt, this is a tough fight for both men. On paper, you’d have to give Velasquez the advantage over five rounds. He’s an excellent wrestler, and Ngannou simply isn’t. He could very well implement Stipe Miocic’s tactics and just dominate the Cameroonian for five rounds.
However, two years out of action could result in ring rust. Ngannou is the last man you want to face if you’re not 100%. Although he had a rough 2018, ‘The Predator’ ended on a high, smashing out Curtis Blaydes in a frightening sequence that suggests he’s conquered his demons.
This is a very interesting clash of styles, with massive implications for both men. A win for either will put them in touching distance of a title shot. A loss doesn’t bear thinking about. We like this one.