Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez makes his return against dangerous knockout artist Francis Ngannou on Sunday 17th February at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
Main Event: Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
Francis “The Predator” Ngannou (12-3) returned to form with a quick knockout of Curtis Blaydes in November after suffering two losses in a row. Ngannou took just 45 seconds to brutally stop Blaydes in the Performance of the Night at UFC Fight Night in Beijing, China. The Frenchman worked his way into title contention after winning six fights in a row under the UFC banner. Francis picked up first-round knockouts of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem before receiving his own title shot. Ngannou was defeated by the then UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who controlled the fight over the course of five rounds at UFC 220.
Cain Velasquez (14-2) hasn’t fought in the Octagon since his win against Travis Browne at UFC 200 in 2016. The former champion stopped Browne in the first round and earned himself the Performance of the Night bonus in the process. Velasquez dropped the heavyweight title to Fabrício Werdum at UFC 188 in 2015. Werdum caught Velasquez in a guillotine choke in the third round for the submission victory.
- Lightweights James Vick (13-2) and Paul Felder (15-4) will meet in a potential Fight of the Night. Vick and Felder are both coming off tough losses against Justin Gaethje and Mike Perry respectively.
- Kron Gracie (4-0) makes his UFC debut against TUF veteran Alex Caceres on the main card. Gracie made his MMA debut in Japan, where he holds submission wins over Hideo Tokoro and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Kron is the son of BJJ legend Rickson Gracie and training partner of the Diaz brothers.
Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
Lightweight: James Vick vs. Paul Felder
Women’s Strawweight: Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Featherweight: Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
Welterweight: Vicente Luque vs. Bryan Barberena
Featherweight: Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
Bantamweight: Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
Bantamweight: Benito Lopez vs. Manny Bermudez
Women’s Flyweight: Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Andrea Lee
Lightweight: Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz
Early Preliminary Card
Bantamweight: Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders
Women’s Strawweight: Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
Women’s Strawweight: Aleksandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire