UFC Phoenix: Francis Ngannou Will KO Former Champ Cain Velasquez

Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:47 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 4:47 PM UTC

UFC Phoenix is the long awaited return of Cain Velasquez and he’s not getting an easy test.

Cain Velasquez vs Francis NgannouFree UFC Pick: Ngannou +185Best Line Offered: 5DimesRecord: 10-10-0 for +0.77 units

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UFC 234 was massively disappointing as the champion Robert Whittaker was pulled from the fight just hours before due to a hernia and the need for emergency surgery. He started feeling pain the night before the fight after the weigh ins and it didn't stop, so they took him to get checked out and that was when they discovered the hernia. We hope for a speedy recovery and a fast re-booking of that match up, but it robbed us of our only pick on the card. Israel vs Silva was moved up to the main event slot and it was a masterful striking performance by Adesanya but it wasn't the main event I was excited to watch and it was only slated for 3 rounds instead of the usual 5.

The UFC is traveling to Phoenix for the next event for a card that promises violence. Former champion Renan Barao is facing a potentially winnable fight to snap his losing streak. Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling are looking to re-solidify themselves as contenders and James Vick will face Paul Felder in a fight that is sure to be a strikers dream with two potent finishers. The card is headlined by the return of Cain Velasquez against surging prospect Francis Ngannou.

We haven't seen Cain in some time as he has been sidelined with injuries since 2016. The last time Cain was in the Octagon he stopped Travis Brown in the first round of their fight, but just before that he was submitted by Fabricio Werdum in an upset nobody saw coming. The thing with Cain is that he has been plagued with injuries his entire career. He fought twice in 2013, then he fought Werdum in 2015 where he lost by submission for the first time in his career. After that he defeated Travis Brown in 2016, but I dont give that fight a lot of credit since Travis Brown at that point was not the same fighter he used to be either. Travis had gone 2-2 prior to facing Cain and after that lost he went on a 4 fight skid and no longer fights professionally.

Ngannou, on the other had, has just rebounded from the first speed bump of his young career and he is looking better than ever!

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One month until it goes down...#ucfphoenix #thepredator pic.twitter.com/m21OfGeThy

— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) 17 de janeiro de 2019

In January 2018 Ngannou challenged Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title and was exposed in his wrestling skill set when Stipe controlled him for 5 rounds and won a grinding decision giving Francis the first loss of his career. After that loss he fought fellow contender Derrick Lewis in the UFCs most boring fight in history. The 3 round snooze fest saw both fighters too respectful of the other’s power and both fighters being unable to pull the trigger.

The general public started calling this the end of Francis

After storming on the scene in dramatic fashion and being hailed as the next great heavyweight he was quickly discarded as a disappointment. Francis entered his rematch with Curtis Blaydes as a +190 underdog because of the improvements and durability Curtis has shown. It was a foregone conclusion that Curtis would be able to out wrestle Ngannou just like Stipe had. I have to pat myself on the back here, because I hit that +190 and I hit it hard. Francis returned to form after getting himself straight and his mind right and crushed Blaydes in round 1. Francis is back on his mission for the heavyweight strap and he has checked his ego at the door. Francis has learned the game of MMA in an astonishing amount of time and is attempting to round that game out.

While peak Cain may be the best heavyweight we have ever seen the Cain fighting on Sunday February 17th is far from that man. He is 5 years removed from his last creible performance and is now 36. He is stepping into an Octagon that has evolved since the last time he visited it against one of its brightest young stars. After this fight I don't think we will ever see underdog pricing on Ngannou ever again and I plan to take him at this juicy +185 line and look for Francis by KO for a little extra value once the props come out. Cain will find it difficult to take this behemoth of a man down and will eat a shot with more power than he’s ever felt when he closes the distance and I would like to see Francis complete his return and challenge for the title of “Baddest Man On The Planet” after this fight.

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