The UFC is going to Phoenix this Sunday with a big main event on hand.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez returns to the octagon after a two plus years hiatus and he will take on the dangerous knockout artist Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC on ESPN 1 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

“Fighting" Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez

Francis Ngannou ( 12-3 with 8 knockouts)

The Predator was the fastest rising prospect in the UFC but after suffering a one-sided loss to Stipe Miocic at  UFC 220, Ngannou was brought back to mortality. In his next fight, he lost via decision to Derrick Lewis and it seemed that he wasn’t just unmasked, he was overrated. But Ngannou bounced back with a first round knockout win over the surging Curtis Blaydes.

Ngannou stands 6-4 and has a reach of 83 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. The Predator lands an average of 1.97 significant strikes per minute at an accuracy of 36%. He absorbs 1.94 significant strikes per minute with a 48% striking defense. He really doesn’t need too many punches to win. And he really doesn’t do anything else inside the octagon with no takedowns landed yet in his UFC career.

Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez Odds

What are the Moneyline Odds?
Francis Ngannou - MMA Fighter



Cain Velasquez - MMA Fighter



Odds from as of 2/15/19

Cain Velasquez (14-2 with 12 knockouts )

No question, Cain Velasquez is one of the best heavyweight champions of all-time. But he’s probably missed more fight time than any of the greats we’ve ever seen. A long list of injuries has limited him to just two fights after 2013 and none since July 2016 when he rough-housed Travis Browne to submission. At his best, Cain was an all-time great but after being out for two and a half years and after a myriad of injuries, it remains to be seen what is left of him.

Velasquez had one of the best gas tanks in the business. He landed 6.38 significant strikes per minute on a 57% accuracy. He got hit by only 2.29 significant strikes per minute and owns a 57% striking defense. Velasquez landed a ridiculous 5.15 takedowns per 15 minutes with a takedown accuracy of 45%. Defensively. Cain stuffed 85% of takedown attempts against him. Cain is 6-1 and with a reach of 77 inches.

Who Wins?

Most likely, this fight is going to end in two just ways. It’s either going to be Cain Velasquez duplicating the Stipe Miocic blueprint and tiring Ngannou on the ground or it will be Francis Ngannou putting Cain Velasquez to sleep with one punch.

We saw Miocic lay down the blueprint in beating The Predator and if Miocic took Ngannou down on the ground with relative ease, what more for Cain Velasquez? With all due respect to Stipe, his takedown and wrestling aren’t even close to Cain Velasquez level. That said, Velasquez theoretically weathers Ngannou’s early storm and then force his wrestling on the Predator to win by decision. The problem with this scenario is whether the 36 year old Velasquez who has taken two and a half years off the octagon can still do what he used to.

Everyone’s talking about Francis Ngannou already exposed. Sure he did but that does not take away the fact that he has freakish punching power. Sure, a healthy Cain Velasquez would make it difficult for Ngannou to land cleanly because of the pressure. But again, there is no guarantee that we’ll see the same Cain Velasquez on Saturday night. He’s been away for too long due to injuries and has aged a couple of more years older.

I know that outside his punching power, Ngannou is suspect. But between Ngannou’s biggest weaknesses and Cain’s uncertainties, I’m rolling with the former. And even if Velasquez returns to form, I think it’s going to take him a round or two to get going after being out for so long. That’s just about the same amount of time Francis Ngannou needs to knock him out. Give me the plus money and I’ll take my chance on the knockout artist.

I’m picking Francis Ngannou to beat Cain Velasquez by knockout.

Place Your Bet Here

“Fighting" James Vick vs Paul Felder

James Vick (13-2 with 3 knockouts)

James Vick opened his UFC career with five straight wins but in his first tough assignment, he was knocked out by Beneil Dariush. He bounced back with four consecutive victories, three by stoppage but after given a chance to headline UFC Fight Night 135 against Justin Gaethje, Vick was knocked out for the second time in his career. Just like after his first loss, The Texecutioner is looking to bounce back right away.

Vick is a very tall 6-3 for the lightweight division and has a reach of 76 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. The Texecutioner lands an average of 4.16 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 38%. Vick is getting hit with an average of 3.05 significant strikes per minute, has a strike defense of 62% and takedown defense of 56%.

James Vick vs Paul Felder Odds

What are the Moneyline Odds?
James Vick - MMA Fighter



Paul Felder - MMA Fighter



Odds from as of 2/15/19

Paul Felder (15-4 with 10 knockouts)

Paul Felder returns to the octagon for the first time since dropping a close split decision to Mike Perry in a welterweight bout at UFC 226 last July. Prior to that loss, a  lightweight Felder won five out of his last six bouts including four by stoppage. This is the third time he’s been booked to fight James Vick.

Felder stands 5-11 and has a reach of 70 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. The Irish Dragon connects on an average of 3.52 significant strikes per minute at  43% accuracy. Felder gets hit with an average of 2.96 significant strikes per minute and owns a 51% strike desense plus a 59% takedown defense.

Who Wins?

This bout has the makings of becoming a Fight of the Night winner. Both are strikers with really good boxing skills and they aren’t shy to trade blows. Vick enters this fight with a significant five-inch height advantage over Felder but Felder moving down to 155 may be the bigger fighter on fight night.

I like Paul Felder a lot. When he works as a commentator during UFC broadcasts, he displays good analytical skills. When he fights inside the octagon, he’s also analytical and smart . These are going to be his edge over Vick who can get emotional and succumb to mistakes in big fights. If Vick fails to use his reach advantage here, Felder is going to find his way inside and land on Vick’s chin. That will be all she wrote.

On the other hand, Felder doesn’t apply the same kind of pressure that Beneil Dariush and Justin Gaethje did to put Vick on the ropes. Felder does love to engage , even when he’s losing so Vick’s length is definitely going to be a factor here. Vick also has good movement and he should be able to evade Felder’s big shots.

This should be a close fight and while Felder does have a legit shot at knocking out Vick, he will have a hard time doing so because of his opponent’s reach advantage. I think James Vick is going to box himself out of trouble and will be content with a decision win over Paul Felder.

I’m picking James Vick to beat Paul Felder via decision.

Place Your Bet Here

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *