VS Common Opponents: Francis Ngannou vs. Junior dos Santos

Robert Vallejos, MMATorch Managing Editor

Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos will face off in the main event of UFC Minneapolis. Here is look at how they fared against the same opponents.


MMA math is not an exact science, in fact, it is probably useless when it comes to predicting fights.

But it is still fun to do.

In this edition of “VS Common Opponents” I take a look at the common opponents that both Francis Ngannou andunior dos Santos have faced over their MMA careers.

Of course, Ngannou and Dos Santos will have a heavyweight showdown on Saturday, at UFC Minneapolis.

Alistair Overeem

Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem, UFC on Fox 17, December 19, 2015.

Result: Overeem via TKO at 4: 43 of round 2.

Francis Ngannou vs. Alistar Overeem, UFC 218, December 2, 2017.

Result: Ngannuo via KO at 1:42 of round 1. 

Advantage: Ngannou

Ngannou’s KO victory over Overeem is one of the all-time UFC highlights. A decade from now, MMA pundits will cite this KO as the benchmark for devastating finishes. This fight happened before Stipe Miocic Derrick Lewis put a dent in Ngannou’s legend.


Stipe Miocic

Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic, UFC on Fox 13, December 13, 2014.

Result: Dos Santos via unanimous decision.

Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic, UFC 211, May 13, 2017.

Result: Miocic via TKO at 2:22 of round 1.

Francis Ngannou vs. Stipe Miocic, UFC 220, January 20, 2018. (For the heavyweight title)

Result: Miocic via unanimous decision.  

Advantage: Dos Santos

During Miocic’s historic title run, dos Santos and Ngannou were on the wrong side of the record books. However, back in 2014, dos Santos put on a masterful striking performance against Miocic. After the fight, Miocic would go on to win his next six fights.

Cain Velasquez

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC on Fox 1, November 12, 2011. (For the heavyweight title)

Result: Dos Santos via KO at 1:04 of round 1.

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC 155, December 29, 2012 (For the heavyweight title)

Result: Velasquez via unanimous decision. 

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC 166, October 19, 2013. (For the heavyweight title)

Result: Velasquez via TKO at 3:09 0f round 5

Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC on ESPN 1, February 17, 2019.

Result: Ngannou via KO at :26 of round 1.

Advantage: Dos Santos

While any victory over Velasquez is impressive, dos Santos’s win at the UFC’s debut on Fox is amazing when put into context. In late 2011, Velasquez was an undefeated champion coming off of a thrilling KO over Brock Lesnar. Dos Santos completely changes course, on what was to be a coronating moment on one of the landmark shows in UFC history.

Derrick Lewis

Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis, UFC 226, July 7, 2018.

Result: Derrick Lewis via unanimous decision. 

Junior dos Santos vs. Derrick Lewis, UFC Wichita, March 9, 2019

Result: Dos Santos via TKO at 1:58 of round 2.

Advantage: Dos Santos

Sure, dos Santos defeating Derrick Lewis was an impressive note, on dos Santos’ late-career resume; but the story here, is Ngannou’s utterly disappointing fight against Lewis. This might be the worst fight of the modern era. The fact that Ngannou has found a way to resurrect his career and win two fights, is a minor miracle.

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