ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported today that Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou are being lined up for a heavyweight showdown in China.
Ngannou has well and truly lost his shine following a pair of underwhelming performances. After blasting his way through the likes of Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem, he was given a title-shot against then-champ Stipe Miocic.
You could see that the UFC were well and truly (but secretly) hoping for the marketable young powerhouse that is ‘The Predator’ to get the job done at UFC 220, but alas, the experience and well-roundedness of the champion prevailed.
In Curtis Blaydes, you have another member of the next generation of rising heavyweight talents – with his only blemish in the UFC coming against Ngannou back in 2016.
Francis couldn’t get the finish that time and Curtis is definitely a much-improved fighter, having taken out the likes of Mark Hunt and the aforementioned Overeem in the time since.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou is scheduled to be the main event for the 11/24 card in Beijing, China, per sources. The fight has been agreed to but not yet signed. Story coming to @espn.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) August 16, 2018
That’s a fun matchup if ever I saw one. A lot, however, will depend on the mental strength of the former title-challenger Ngannou – who was ridiculously gunshy in his last outing at UFC 226.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena