Who do you think will win Saturday’s fight between Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou?
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
Francis Ngannou did not have a good showing his last two outings so he needs a big win or he could be looking at being released from the UFC. Curtis Blaydes is hungry and a much better fighter than Ngannou faced before. Curtis Blaydes is certainly on the rise but I don’t want Ngannou leaving the UFC just yet, not before he knocks out Jon Jones if he decides to move up to heavyweight. I don’t see Ngannou getting past the excellent wrestling of Blaydes. Blaydes is going to keep gGannou on the ground the entire time and get an easy victory. The only chance Francis Ngannou has is if Blaydes gets too full of himself and stands up with Ngannou, Curtis has a growing ego so it is not out of the question that he would stand and strike with Francis. But this is the UFC so it should be a standard striker vs wrestler unanimous decision for Blaydes. But I’d Love to see Curtis Blaydes get knocked out and humbled though.
Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor
I believe this is the deciding factor on how Ngannou’s career goes on. If he has his swag back, he has a shot. That being said, I don’t think he had it, nor will he ever have it back. I have Blaydes winning sometime after Round 2. Ngannou can block takedowns pretty well, and Blaydes has struggles with taking people down. However, once Ngannou hits the floor, he’s screwed, as Blaydes is a destroyer in the ground. Of course Ngannou has a shot, a shot early on, but a shot as he had those two weapons called his hands that can finish anyone.
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I’m going with Blaydes by TKO in the 3rd round. Ngannou just hasn’t shown enough lately for me to fully get back on board with him. Blaydes hasn’t had the stumbles that Ngannou has had so I think he’ll take this fight and put himself in prime position to get the next title shot. I wouldn’t be surprised by a Ngannou knockout but that doesn’t seem as likely.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
I think the big question here is what version of Francis Ngannou do we get on Saturday. If it’s the version that gassed out when pressured by Stipe Miocic, or the version that was afraid to pull the trigger against Derrick Lewis, he’s not going to have much of a shot at winning. Curtis Blaydes appears to be the all around better mixed martial artist right now. His only loss is to Ngannou and I expect him to grind out a decision win Saturday in China.