Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will return to action tomorrow night (Sun., Feb. 17, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 1 from inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, when he takes on knockout sensation Francis Ngannou in the main event.
It will be Velasquez’s first fight since his TKO win over Travis Browne at UFC 200 back in July of 2016.
In preparation for Cain’s return, UFC has opened up its vault and released one of the heavyweight’s best Octagon performances to date, which can be seen in the above video player.
The action shows Velasquez’s heavyweight battle with Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira back at UFC 110 in Australia, in which Cain caught “Minotauro” with a huge right hand counter just over two minutes into the first round. Nogueira dropped to the canvas like a sack of potatoes and Velasquez followed suit with hard ground-and-pound before the referee stepped in and saved “Minotauro.” It remains one of Velasquez’s most violent finishes to date.
Velasquez will have a big opportunity to capture a victory in his return this weekend at UFC on ESPN 1, but he’s unlikely to catch Ngannou on the feet like he did Nogueira. “Predator” is simply a different beast in the striking department and Velasquez is going to want to fight this heavyweight main event on the ground as much as possible.
If Velasquez is unsuccessful in leading the dance, he may end up like “Minotauro.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 1 fight card, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, before the ESPN main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.