The UFC returns to China for the second time in a year for UFC Fight Night 141 on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China.

The main event for UFC Fight Night 141 will feature the rematch between heavyweight contenders Francis “Predator” Ngannou and Curtis “Razor” Blaydes. These two behemoths fought at UFC Fight Night 86 in April 2016. The Predator got the better of Razor as he earned a TKO via doctor stoppage. But a lot has changed since that fight. While Blaydes had been on a tear since that defeat, Ngannou has seen his laurels fall off with back to back disappointing defeats. With a title shot in their minds, the two will collide again in a showdown that should be explosive and interesting.

Blaydes On A Tear

Curtis Blaydes (10-1 8 KOs) has been on a tear since losing to Francis Ngannou two years ago. Since that defeat, Razor has fought a total of six times and has a record of 5-0 with 3 knockout and one no-contest. The no-contest was originally a knockout win over Adam Milstead which was overturned after Blaydes tested positive for marijuana.

Blaydes landed a total of 22 takedowns in three out of his last four fights, none fewer than four in each of the three bouts. At UFC 221, Blaydes took down the gigantic Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt a total of 10 times in a three round bout. Aside from his takedowns and his elite wrestling skills, Blaydes continues to improve his striking which he’s utilized to help set up his takedowns. That improved striking was on full display at UFC 225 when he knocked out Alistair Overeem with a vicious ground and pound.

What’re the Odds?

Francis Ngannou vs Curtis Blaydes
5 Round Heavyweight Main Event
Moneyline Odds: Ngannou +205, Blaydes -240
Odds from as of 11/23/18


Predator Exposed

Francis Ngannou (11-3 7 KOs, 4 submissions)  was one of the most feared men in the UFC. Known as the Predator, Ngannou won his first six UFC bouts by stoppage within two rounds. Beginning his knockout win over Bojan Mihajlovic in 2016, Ngannou won four consecutive bouts via first round stoppage. That led to a title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 200 where the Predator was unexpectedly exposed.

Ngannou was taken down six times by Miocic, outstruck 70-21 and was dragged to exhaustion by the champ. Ngannou suffered a second straight loss when he fought tentatively against Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 where the two combined to land a total of 31 strikes.In his first bout with Blaydes, Ngannou was taken down twice but he got up both times and managed to close Blaydes’ eyes, forcing a doctor’s stoppage. However, there were moments in the bout where Razor landed hard jabs that appeared to stun Ngannou.

Who Wins?

The first fight between the two was rather interesting. Although there was no questioning the doctor’s decision to stop the fight, it was a competitive one where both hurt the other and if Blaydes probably had the same striking he has now back then, the fight could have ended differently. Blaydes took 36 significant strikes from Ngannou and was still standing and it was only because his eyes were closing that the fight was stopped. But when you talk about a granite chin and a durable body, certainly Blaydes has the capability to go toe to toe with Ngannou. Speaking of going toe to toe, Blaydes’ improved striking should give him more chances to beat the Predator this time around.

On the other hand, Ngannou has looked like a shell of his old self in his last two fights. Not only did he fight without his old killer instinct but he also fought tentatively. If a guy as big as Ngannou no doesn’t let his hands go, he is a sitting duck target for his opponents because of his size. If Ngannou fights like he did in his previous two bouts, this is an easy win for Blaydes. But even if Ngannou suddenly regains his old form, Blaydes already knows that he isn’t invincible and that he can be easily dragged to exhaustion. Knowing also that he can take Ngannou’s punch, I’m sure Blaydes will want to test his improved striking against his old foe and I think this time around, it’s going to be a more interesting battle.

Betting Prediction

Having seen their recent forms, I think that Ngannou’s only chance of winning this fight is by knockout. You can never take that away from him. It’s not a longshot but it’s not going to be easy either. Given that Blaydes has faced him before, Razor knows what to do this time around. I believe that Blaydes will take the cue from Miocic and follow Stipe’s game plan. He has the tools to do what Miocic did to Ngannou and get the same result. Having said that,

we’re picking Curtis Blaydes to beat Francis Ngannou on points. Prediction: Blaydes -240

Place Your Bet Here

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