UFC on ESPN 1 Preview

ufc-espn1When it comes to making an impression the UFC knows how to pull out all of the stops and launch something special.

This Sunday, the UFC will host it’s first ever main card on ESPN with the new deal including a number of fights on the big channel.

They launched their new deal with ESPN on the network’s streaming service, ESPN+ and did so with a super fight for the flyweight title.

Now is the time where they will step into the main network and put together a main card to showcase on one of the world’s leading sports channels.

Just like they did when they launched at FOX the UFC has decided to put together a great card with some promising fights for their first feature on ESPN.

The card features up and comer Cynthia Calvillo who looks to prove that she is worth the hype against Cortney Casey.

Kron Gracie will make his UFC debut as he hopes to follow in the footsteps of the greatest MMA family in the history of the sport.

A rising star in Paul Felder, also a UFC announcer, looks to continue to keep his name in the conversation against James Vick in what could be the fight of the night.

It all culminates in a fight that people have been wondering about for the last year as two heavyweights finally get to face off.

In one corner is a former champion who many consider to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

Cain Velasquez finally makes his return to the octagon after two and a half years away due to injury issues.

Back problems got the best of the former champion and after undergoing surgery he is finally back in fighting shape.

After two years he has lost a lot of the attention he used to have as a champion and one of the best ever.

He now gets the chance to get in front of an entirely new group of fans on one of the biggest nights I UFC history.

He will look to do so against the man in the other corner, a young star who came to prominence two years ago as one of the best heavyweight prospects ever.

Francis N’Gannou was the next one in the heavyweight division, a division in desperate need of some new blood.

With the heavyweight division lacking that big personality and a number of older fighters looking like a wall in front of any contender, there was nothing new to get excited about.

Then came a young fighter from Cameroon who showed the power and ability to end a fight in an instant.

At only 30 years old, young for a heavyweight, he was making his way through the heavyweight division and by the end of 2017 had made it through that wall of older fighters.

His knockout of Alistair Overeem will make highlight reels for decades to come and it resulted in the first major heavyweight name.mma-sidebar.fw

The question arose about just how good he could be but all of that was quickly answered in 2018 when his rise came crashing down.

His win over Overeem earned him a title shot against Stipe Miocic where the lack of a ground game was exposed.

He was shown to not be the man that many thought and then in trying to come back he failed to impress once against this time against Derrick Lewis.

He was going to be crowned as the best heavyweight in years but his 2018 turned out to be a showcase in the fact that he might not be ready.

Now he looks to get back after beating Curtis Blaydes in November but has a tall task in his next opponent.

Throughout the rise of N’Gannou, many wondered just how good he could be and whether or not he could beat someone like Velasquez.

The D-I wrestler brought something different to the heavyweight division as he had the hands to be great standing up but had that wrestling background for a great rounded game.

N’Gannou has been exposed as having no gas tank and no ground game and Velasquez has plenty of both.

Before N’Gannou was exposed many wondered if someone like Velasquez could do the exposing.

Now the game plan is there but the real question is how much has N’Gannou grown in the last year after his two losses.

Has he figured out his ground game and has he worked on his cardio? If he has he gets to showcase both on a big night but if not he could get exposed to just how far away he is from the best fighters in the division.


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