BEN ASKREN VS. JORGE MASVIDAL, FRANCIS NGANNOU VS. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS BOOKED FOR UFC 239

The UFC recently announced the initial batch of spells for the upcoming UFC 239 blockbuster card which takes place July 6 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In last week’s MMA Odds and Ends, I gave my first thoughts on both title fights at the peak of the invoice containing Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos for the UFC light heavyweight title and Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm for your UFC women’s bantamweight title. I also gave my ideas on an intriguing light heavyweight matchup involving Luke Rockhold and Jan Blachowicz.
It appears the UFC wants to truly have a special card for this year’s International Fight Week event, since according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, two more exciting conflicts are booked for UFC 239. One is a welterweight matchup involving Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal, and the other is a heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos. Below are my initial ideas on the fights
Ben Askren vs. Jorge Masvidal, UFC 239
Welterweight contenders Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal fulfill at UFC 239 using a potential title shot on the line. UFC president Dana White originally told reporters following UFC 235 that the promotion planned a rematch between Askren and Robbie Lawler, but after Lawler was booked at a rematch against Tyron Woodley at UFC on ESPN 4 it opened up the door for Askren to combat an original face. Many figured the UFC would take the bait and book Masvidal against Leon Edwards after their backstage scuffle at UFC London, but the promotion has instead decided to match Askren and Masvidal up in a potential No. 1 contender’s bout.
Askren (19-0, 1 NC) had an unusual UFC debut against Lawler, but finally did wind up getting his hands raised. After surviving a hard slam and also an early onslaught of floor punches, Askren managed to put Lawler in a bulldog choke, coaxing a ghost tapout out of referee Herb Dean. Fans didn’t wish to find a rematch, however, along with the UFC ultimately recorded, giving”Funky” a fresh opponent. The former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion is undefeated in his profession and is currently riding a five-fight win series that includes four successes via stoppage. With his ability to speak a big game, Askren has quickly become fan popular amongst UFC lovers, and the advertising has taken notice.
Masvidal (33-13) is 10-6 overall in the UFC and is coming off of possibly the biggest win of his career, a brutal KO victory over Darren Until in the main event of UFC London. Masvidal had become a gatekeeper in 170lbs and hadn’t any fought in over a year after back-to-back conclusion losses to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia. But all of us know MMA is a”what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” sport along with the triumph over Till raised Masvidal’s stock to the maximum level it’s his whole career. He had been due for a huge struggle, and the UFC considers this matchup against Askren is the best fight possible.
I adore this matchup, and I’m thankful the UFC decided to book it as it is an intriguing battle involving two veterans of the game who are seeking to get a title shot. Given Askren’s undefeated record and his remarkable wrestling pedigree, I believe you need to give him the standing of betting favorite going into this bout. However, with Masvidal having strong takedown defense along with a superior striking attack, he’ll be a live puppy once again.
Francis Ngannou vs. Junior dos Santos, UFC 239
As well, a heavyweight bout between Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos is slated for UFC 239, together with the winner probably stepping into the role of No. 1 contender to champion Daniel Cormier’s belt.
Ngannou (13-3) is 8-2 at the UFC and is coming from back-to-back knockout wins over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. After two dreadful performances against Derrick Lewis and Stipe Miocic, it seems Ngannou has found his groove again in the heavyweight division.
Dos Santos (21-5) is 15-4 at the UFC and is now riding a three-fight win streak over Lewis, Blagoy Ivanov and Tai Tuivasa. The former UFC heavyweight champ is beginning to seem just like his old self once again, and at this stage might be in contention for a UFC Hall of Fame place.
Both men are on a roll right now, but given the fact Ngannou has taken much less harm in his career and has the hype train behind him again, I’d venture to guess he will be a tiny favorite here.
Fantastic battle, also UFC 239 is starting to shape up as the ideal card of this year even without Conor McGregor accessible to fight.
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