Relive the first meeting between the UFC Beijing headliners Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou ahead of their rematch tomorrow.
A lot can change in two years and for heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou, each has seen their stock rise exponentially since their first meeting back in 2016.
Ngannou has, of course, scaled the mountain at a faster rate than his UFC Beijing opponent – riding into a UFC 220 title-shot on the wave of some serious hype after some brutal KO victories over several established vets.
His confidence has certainly taken a huge hit after being pounded down by Stipe Miocic in that fight but with an opponent like Blaydes, who he holds a win over, he has the perfect opportunity to get his overall mental game back on track.
Blaydes, on the other hand, has had a decidedly longer route to the top but hasn’t lost since his first meeting with Ngannou.
He too brutally managed to finish Alistair Overeem and in doing so, put himself right into the title discussion as the heavyweight division enters a much-needed renaissance period.
Ngannou was able to get the upper hand in the first meeting between himself and Blaydes – forcing a doctor’s stoppage.
Watch the fight in full below:
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena