Report: Junior dos Santos to Face Francis Ngannou at UFC 239

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 29, 2019

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is determined to make UFC 239 an all-time great card, adding a major heavyweight matchup between Junior dos Santos and Francis Ngannou.

According to Ariel Helwani on Friday, dos Santos (21-5) will meet Ngannou (13-3) at UFC 239 on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The two were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 215 in 2017, but dos Santos was flagged by USADA and pulled from the fight. He was subsequently cleared after it was shown he ingested tainted supplements.

Former UFC heavyweight champion dos Santos most recently earned a knockout in a "Fight of the Night" battle with Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 146 earlier in March. The bout was the first from the heavyweight division to earn "Fight of the Night" since 2017, and after the knockout he tied Cain Velasquez and Lewis for the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history with 10. "Cigano" holds 15 victories at heavyweight in the UFC, and with a win against Ngannou he can tie the all-time record held by Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski.

Ngannou earned arguably the biggest win of his career when he knocked out Velasquez at the inaugural UFC on ESPN event in February. Prior to that, "The Predator" knocked out Curtis Blaydes in the first round, and in those two bouts he scored two knockouts in a combined 71 seconds. All 13 of Ngannou's victories have come by stoppage within two rounds.

UFC 239 will take place on July 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Headlining the event will be a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. Serving as the co-headliner will be a women's bantamweight championship bout between Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm.

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