Francis Ngannou
The Predator


Runs over JDS, title shot likely
June 29, 2019
Ngannou defeated Junior dos Santos via TKO (punches) at 1:11 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Ngannou is the scariest man on the UFC roster and it's not particularly close. He opened up against Dos Santos with a pair of hard leg kicks in the early going before eventually crumbling the former champion with a wild right hook while he was literally standing behind him. There isn't a fighter alive today who can generate the power Ngannou does on shots that barely graze the opposition. Francis called for the winner of August's UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between title holder Daniel Cormier and challenger Stipe Miocic and it would be shocking at this point if he's not next in line for his second opportunity at UFC gold. It's crazy to think the 32-year-old Ngannou has been a professional mixed martial artist for less than six years. He simply has a God-given gift to knock men out. While he awaits his chance at UFC gold, Ngannou will at least have an extra $50,000 to spend by way of a Performance of the Night bonus.
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Dos Santos fight moved to Minneapolis
May 21, 2019
Ngannou will now take on Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC Minneapolis on June 29, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
This was a matchup supposed to go down as a featured bout on the International Fight Week card on July 6 in Las Vegas, but Minneapolis was left without a main event after the withdrawal of Tyron Woodley (hand). The pair of heavyweights will now bump their scheduled meeting up by a week, where Ngannou will take the cage in search of his third consecutive victory. He erased UFC legend Cain Velasquez within 30 seconds in their February matchup, and will enter as the younger fighter with height and reach advantages. While dos Santos is far more experienced, especially in terms of championship fights, that don't expect the veteran to be given much of an edge when the betting odds are released. The one potential area of concern for Ngannou is whether this becomes a five-round fight due to its main-event status. One of two career losses for "The Predator" was to Stipe Miocic in a fight that went all 25 minutes.
Draws JDS in Vegas
April 10, 2019
Ngannou will take on Junior dos Santos in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas.
Ngannou is back on the right path towards a title shot, picking up back-to-back first-round stoppage victories over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. The next man in his way is dos Santos, a veteran of the heavyweight division that is looking to make a late-career resurgence. Dos Santos has put together three wins in a row since coming up short in his title shot against Stipe Miocic, but Ngannou is arguably his toughest test of the last several years. Statistically, dos Santos has superior numbers in both striking offense and striking defense, as well as all wrestling categories. It's physically where Ngannou reigns surpreme, as he's a younger fighter with a six-inch reach advantage. Dos Santos is the more technical fighter, but Ngannou boasts significantly larger power in his hands. With a two-fight losing streak in 2018 being the only exception, Ngannou typically puts up large scoring totals in daily formats. Should he stay on the winning track, he'll likely be next in line for a shot at Daniel Cormier's belt.
Takes advantage of an injury
February 17, 2019
Ngannou defeated Cain Velasquez via TKO (strikes) at 0:26 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday in Phoenix.
This is likely the biggest win of Ngannou's career. Velasquez came out and went for a takedown early in the fight. On the takedown, his knee gave out, though one hard shot in the clinch may have had something to do with Cain losing his footing. Sensing an opening, Ngannou went to work with his punches and forced the referee to stop the fight. After back-to-back losses to Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis, the Ngannou hype train was totally derailed. However, he has now gotten back on track with a pair of victories over Curtis Blaydes and Velasquez. The nature of this win by way of injury might not inspire fan excitement, but the win will certainly look nice on his record.
Gets Cain Velasquez in Phoenix
December 22, 2018
Ngannou will take on Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight battle at a UFC Fight Night event in Phoenix on Feb. 17, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Ngannou finally snapped out of his two-fight skid with a convincing victory over Curtis Blaydes in November, and now he's ready to add another big name to his resume with a matchup against a former champion. Velasquez hasn't fought since the summer of 2016 due to various back injuries, so the biggest question mark in this fight is if he has any rust to shake off. Fantasy owners that elect to use Ngannou in their lineups will do so in hopes of an early finish via strikes, but if Velasquez is able to survive the early onslaught, there's a good chance the tides will turn. In his prime, Velasquez was known for his elite cardio, and he's also averaged more than five takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time in his career. Ngannou's mediocre takedown defense and below-average cardio were exposed in his first title fight against Stipe Miocic, so look for Velasquez to execute a similar strategy. That being said, Ngannou will likely enter as the betting favorite due to the pure amount of power in his hands. One minor mistake from a fighter like Velasquez coming off a long layoff, and Ngannou will look to immediately start a sequence to finish the fight and get his hand raised.
Dulls the 'Razor'
November 24, 2018
Ngannou defeated Curtis Blaydes via TKO (punches) at 0:45 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 141 on Saturday in Beijing, China.
Everyone knows that Ngannou has the power to finish the fights. After he lost his title challenge against Stipe Miocic, he appeared shy to pull the trigger. That looks to be in the past now. He needed only 45 seconds to finish Blaydes. He landed an overhand right, which floored Blaydes. Ngannou continued to pour it on until the referee stopped the fight. NGannou has the talent to be a difference maker in the UFC's heavyweight division, and it showed here.