Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou make the headline event for UFC Fight Night 141. Check out our online fight preview for all the details…
Fight Preview: When, Where and What Time?
UFC Fight Night 141 takes place this weekend on Sat, 24th November at The Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. The action on the main card kicks off at 7.30pm local time, allowing viewers in the UK a midday viewing slot of 12pm. The ringwalks for Blaydes vs. Ngannou should commence around 9pm.
The Main Event of UFC Fight Night 141 in Beijing, China, is set to be a mammoth match between heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. Both fighters have fought each other before, with Ngannou having won the first bout, but Blaydes is the bookmaker’s favourite to win the rematch.
We can’t see into the future but we can look back on recent form and potential of both fighters going into this heavyweight contest to gauge who looks more likely to pull off a win. Here is our round-up of possible outcomes for this UFC Fight Night main event.
Blaydes to win outright
Blaydes has come a long way since his loss to Ngannou – his only one so far – in April 2016. He has won five straight fights in the Octagon since the loss, most recently a decisive win over former title challenger Alistair Overeem.
In the first fight against Ngannou, Blaydes was only able to land one takedown, which allowed Ngannou to dominate him on the feet. However, Stipe Miocic set the blueprint on how to dominate Ngannou in the grappling department, and if Blaydes can follow it he may be able to make it 1-1 against the Cameroonian.
Ngannou to win outright
While 2018 has not been good for Ngannou, the former title challenger remains a huge threat on the feet due to his almost superhuman power. His confidence seemed to take a huge dent after his loss to Miocic, though, as shown by his dismal and extremely timid performance in his last fight against Derrick Lewis.
He will need to regain that self-belief if he stands any chance of beating the surging Blaydes a second time, and that is by far the biggest question this analyst has with regards to this bout.
Ngannou to win by TKO/KO
He’s already beaten Blaydes via TKO once, so Ngannou certainly has the tools to do it again. However, as previously mentioned, the question is whether or not he will have the confidence to fight in the way he does best.
Assuming he has drilled takedown defence in his training camp, Ngannou will be best served fighting from the outside and peppering Blaydes with solid shots. While Ngannou is effective at throwing those one-punch power shots, he should also utilise smart combos as a way to stop Blaydes from going for the takedown.
Blaydes to win by TKO/KO
With eight of his 10 MMA wins coming via TKO, it will be no surprise if that’s how Blaydes will win the rematch. Ngannou has never been finished in his MMA career, but he has also not fought a ground-and-pounder quite like Blaydes.
The fact this fight is a five-rounder is also something on Blaydes’ side, as he has more time to tire out Ngannou and finish him with ground-and-pound. He will need to make sure his takedown attempts are more effective than they were the first time around, however, as Ngannou’s striking and length will mean he will have the edge on the feet.
Our Verdict – Blaydes Win via TKO
A hard one to predict, as we aren’t sure of Ngannou’s state of mind coming into this fight. The momentum is on Blaydes’ side, however, and we think he will be able to get Ngannou to the ground and finish him in the third round.