UFC on FOX from Denver, Colorado, features a huge heavyweight matchup. Mixed martial arts veteran and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski takes on rising star Francis “The Predator” Ngannou.
Ngannou (9-1) has been making quite a name for himself since his UFC debut in December of 2015. He scored a 2nd-round KO over Luis Henrique, and put the heavyweight division on notice.
All nine of his victories have been finishes; five via knockout or TKO and four coming by way of submission. His lone loss came in just his second career fight, losing a unanimous decision. Since then, however, he has been on a tear with an 8-fight win streak.
Ngannou was born in Batie, Cameroon, and found himself homeless when he came to France. Like most fighters, Mike Tyson caught his eye at an early age and he originally planned to pursue a career in boxing. Once he stepped into an MMA gym in Paris, however, that all changed.
When he showed up to Fernando Lopez’ gym he had no money, but a deep desire to train in boxing. On his first day of training, Lopez told him that MMA was a better path in France. Watching Ngannou fight, it’s surprising to hear that his response was, “What is MMA?”
It took some convincing, but ultimately Francis decided to make the switch to mixed martial arts. Lopez felt from the very first time he saw him in class that he was destined to become a champion in the sport. Seeing Ngannou in the octagon, that’s a claim that’s hard to argue.
Ngannou is predicting a first round knockout over Arlovski this Saturday. Heavyweights have found success when testing the Pit Bull’s chin, and if Ngannou connects, his prediction may very well come true.
The way these two go after it inside the cage it would be a miracle if this fight makes it out of the first round.
This will be Ngannou’s second time on a UFC on FOX card, coincidentally enough, both headlined by Valentina Shevchenko. That says a lot about how the UFC views Ngannou and his potential to deliver an exciting fight.
A win by the #10 ranked Ngannou could put him one fight away from a title shot if he performs well. The Predator looks to feast on a Pit Bull this Saturday in Denver, but he no doubt sees the entire heavyweight division as his prey.