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Francis Ngannou: I’m better than Andrei Arlovski, will prove it at UFC on FOX 23

Stepping stone?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Ngannou vs Hamilton Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports

Fast-rising Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou looks to continue his violent ascent to the top of the 265-pound mountain when he collides with former division kingpin Andrei Arlovski.

They'll do the deed at the upcoming UFC on FOX 23 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, slated for Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, on Sat., Jan. 28, 2017, in a bout with serious title implications in the heavyweight division.

One of many reasons Ngannou told Bloody Elbow he needs to make a statement.

“I want for people to see I am a great fighter and I think to be a great fighter you are supposed to fight a great one. You’re supposed to fight one who people know, that has a good reputation or is a very tough fighter and that is why I say now, after my fight with Hamilton, I feel now I need top ten because I need to be recognized as a great fighter. The challenges in my life started since I was born. It has never been easy. Nothing in my life has been easy. I’m going to show people, I’m going to show fans, that I’m better than him.”

One punch is all it takes.

Ngannou (9-1) is now a perfect 4-0 under the UFC banner with all four contests ending by way of violent finish. That includes his submission win over Anthony Hamilton at the UFC Fight Night 102 event last December on UFC Fight Pass.

Arlovski (25-13, 1 NC), meanwhile, is coming off three consecutive losses in which he was finished all three times. "The Pitbull" was most recently submitted by Josh Barnett at UFC Fight Night 93 back in September and could find himself on the unemployment line (again) if he falls to the Parisian.

UFC on FOX 23 will be headlined by the women's bantamweight contender fight pitting Valentina Shevchenko against Juilanna Pena. Elsewhere on the card, welterweight "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone collides with the resurgent Jorge Masvidal.

To see the current UFC on FOX 23 fight card and line up click here.

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