UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez

Credit: UFC

Francis “The Predator” Ngannou (12-3) vs. Cain Velasquez (14-2)

Cain is back! Considered one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in UFC history, Velasquez will be greeted back into the Octagon by heavy-hitter Francis Ngannou. Cain, who hasn’t fought since July of 2016, will look to begin his quest to gain the heavyweight belt back. Ngannou however, wants to prove he has what it takes to beat the best in the business. Velasquez had had long layoffs between fights for the past couple of years, sitting out almost two years between his dos Santos and Werdum fights, then another year after the Werdum fight before he took on Travis Browne. But Cain is a beast, and he trains with killers all day and has possibly the best heavyweight cardio in the game. 

Ngannou looked impressive again against Curtis Blaydes in his last matchup. He secured a KO victory just 45 seconds into the fight. This is great news for Ngannou fans, who hasn’t looked like the same fighter after he fought Stipe Miocic early last year. The one problem though, Velasquez will present the same problems Stipe did. He is an excellent wrestler, with insane cardio and can both take and deliver devastating punches. Hopefully, Ngannou’s team has focused heavily on pacing and increasing cardio. If not, Cain just has to weather the early storm and will utilize his wrestling that will make life miserable for Ngannou. 

PREDICTION: Cain Velasquez (RND 3) TKO 

Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder (15-4) vs. James “The Texecutioner” Vick (13-2)

Paul Felder is out of the announcer’s booth and back into the Octagon. His opponent, James Vick. Felder is a scrapper and just plain fun to watch. He went 15 minutes against Mike Perry, a fight in which he broke his arm early in the fight. Leading up to that fight, Felder was on a three-fight win streak, winning all three by TKO or KO. 

James Vick is coming off of a devastating knockout loss to Justin Gaethje. Vick is no slouch though. Going into that last fight, Vick was on a four-fight win streak. Vick is incredibly tall for a lightweight, standing at 6’4″ compared to Felder at 5’11”. Those long limbs of Vick can keep Felder at bay, but Felder won’t allow that distance for long. I see Felder coming in and forcing Vick to move backward. This is a tough one to call, but the no quit attitude of Felder, I lean his way.

PREDICTION: Paul Felder (RND 2) TKO 

Rest of Main Card

Cynthia Calvillo- Sub

Kron Gracie- Sub

Vicente Luque- TKO

Myles Jury- Dec 

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