According to a report from MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani, French-based Cameroonian heavyweight Francis Ngannou could face the sternest test of his UFC career this August, as the promotion is lining up a fight between he and former UFC heavyweight kingpin Junior dos Santos.
UFC would like to book Francis Ngannou vs. Junior dos Santos for the yet-to-be announced 8/19 PPV, per sources, but it's not done yet.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 27, 2017
Ngannou(10-1), who was last seen starching another former heavyweight champion in the shopworn Andrei Arlovski, has amassed a record of 5-0 since joining the UFC in 2015 and has finished every single one of his opponents inside the distance. In the process, ‘The Predator’ has become the most touted fighter in a division that is in need of stars and has already captured the number five spot in the UFC’s official heavyweight rankings.
While Dos Santos will certainly represent the biggest challenge of Ngannou’s young career, Francis might well be getting the Brazilian at the right time. Should he fight on the suggested date, Dos Santos(18-5) will have only given himself three months to shake off the effects of a TKO defeat to reigning heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Though he performed well against Ben Rothwell last April, it’s been some time since ‘Cigano’ has looked like a fighter in his prime. That once rock-solid chin has shown signs of significant deterioration in recent years and the stoppage loss to Miocic, his third in five fights, will have eroded the 33-year-old’s punch resistance even further.