Dana White confirmed on Saturday that former heavyweight champion of the world Cain Velasquez will return to the octagon to face Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC fight night Phoenix in February.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported the news and outlined that White had confirmed Velasquez’s return to the octagon for the first time in two years.
Velasquez is a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion having won the title first in 2010 by defeating Brock Lesnar before being knocked out by Junior Dos Santos.
Breaking: Dana White confirms Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou will headline UFC Fight Night on Feb. 17 in Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/4x83IrosOB
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 22, 2018
The 36-year old bounced back in style though defeating Dos Santos and Bigfoot Silva twice before relinquishing the belt once again to Fabricio Werdum after getting caught in a guillotine choke.
After defeating Travis Browne at UFC 200, Velasquez faces a huge test in the form of Francis Ngannou who is coming off the back of a hugely impressive KO of Curtis Blaydes last month.
Ngannou was in desperate need of a victory following two consecutive unanimous decision defeats to Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title, and Derrick Lewis, a fight that earned him his fair share of criticism.
The bout represents a huge opportunity for both men to cement themselves at the top of a crowded heavyweight division and will surely be a mouthwatering prospect for fight fans all over the globe.
The latest UFC on ESPN 1 card now includes:
Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Lauren Murphy
Jodie Esquibel vs. Jessica Penne
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey
Paul Felder vs. James Vick
Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
Manny Bermudez vs. Benito Lopez
Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz