Ngannou-Blaydes Targeted for UFC Beijing
A verbal agreement is in place to have Francis Ngannou take on Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Beijing.
The bout was first reported by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Ngannou and Blaydes have squared off previously in April 2016 – it was Ngannou’s first UFC bout and Blaydes’ UFC debut. Ngannou won via doctor stoppage at the end of the second round.
Following the first Blaydes bout, Ngannou scored four more finishes — including a devastating knockout of Alistair Overeem – before receiving a UFC Heavyweight Title shot at UFC 220 back in January. Ngannou was dominated by then-champion Stipe Miocic, losing a unanimous decision. Then, at UFC 226 in July, Ngannou lost by decision to Derrick Lewis in one of the most heavily criticized bouts in UFC history, with both combatants throwing near-record few strikes.
Blaydes, meanwhile, is unbeaten in six bouts since the loss to Ngannou, with five wins and one No Contest (a win that was overturned after Blaydes tested positive for marijuana). In his most recent bout, Blaydes defeated Overeem via third-round TKO after a vicious barrage of elbow strikes to the face on the ground.
This will be the UFC’s first ever event to take place in China’s capital city.
Original Story: ESPN