Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is stepping into the Octagon against one-time title challenger Francis Ngannou at UFC 239 in July. MMA Fighting confirmed an initial report from ESPN on Friday evening.
The two heavy-handed pugilists were originally slated to square off at UFC 215 in September 2017 before a USADA violation forced dos Santos off of the card.
In terms of recent competition dos Santos (21-5) was last seen finishing Derrick Lewis with a second-round TKO at UFC Wichita earlier this month. Prior to this, he earned a decision win over former WSOF champion Blagoy Ivanov followed by a violent TKO over Tai Tuivasa.
To date, dos Santos has finished 16 of his 21 victories, including 15 by (T)KO.
Ngannou (13-3) is coming off a crippling 26-second knockout over former champion Cain Velasquez at UFC Phoenix in February. Prior to this, fans saw “The Predator” starch Curtis Blaydes in 45 seconds at UFC Beijing.
To date, Ngannou has finished all 13 of professional wins, including nine by (T)KO.
UFC 239 will go down on July 6 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. With this recent addition, here is how the rest of the card stands:
(c) Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos – for UFC light heavyweight championship
(c) Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm – for UFC bantamweight championship
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
Francis Ngannou vs Junior Dos Santos
(c) – champion