EXCLUSIVE | Pro fighters make their picks for Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez

Francis Ngannou, Cain Velasquez

The UFC’s first ever event on ESPN is upon us. In the main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will be making his long awaited return to the Octagon to take on Francis Ngannou.

Ahead of this heavyweight fight, which could have title implications, BJPENN.com reached out to several pro fighters to get their predictions. And, for the first time in the history of this series, the fighters were unanimous in their answers.

Here’s what they had to say:

Pro Fighters Pick Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez

Brad Pickett, retired UFC bantamweight: Cain all day long. But, it all depends on what Cain comes back at. If it is Cain of anything close to what he used to be like, Cain 100 percent.

Renato Moicano, UFC featherweight: This is an easy one. Cain Velasquez will win for sure.

Anthony Pettis, UFC lightweight/welterweight: Cain. I want Cain, he is my boy. The wrestling game on Cain will be too much, you saw the Stipe fight. I think Cain.

Max Griffin, UFC welterweight: I think Cain. Francis is not a wrestler and Stipe showed that. I think Cain is the best heavyweight wrestler we have had, so I think Francis is in big trouble. Then, coming from AKA with DC and all that. I’m going Cain all the way.

Alonzo Menifield, UFC light heavyweight: I’m going to go with Cain because he is a wrestler. I like Cain and I like wrestling.

Bi Nguyen, ONE Championship atomweight: I am hoping for Cain. Emotional pick, Cain Velasquez.

Ricky Simon, UFC bantamweight: Cain is one of my all-time favourites ever so I’m going to go with Cain. It is going to be tough, he is coming off of a long layoff and Francis hits hard, almost like we have never seen. I’m going to go with Cain, I’m excited to see him come back.

Damien Brown, RIZIN FF lightweight: Cain I think will win by dominant ground and pound. As long as he doesn’t get caught with one of those massive sledgehammers that Ngannou has. 

Diego Ferreira, UFC lightweight: I think Cain Velasquez. He is a really great fighter and I think he has a little bit left on his fight life.

Miles Johns, LFA bantamweight champion: Honestly, I have to go with Cain. Francis looked good in his last fight, but I think Cain will be able to dictate the pace and be able to stay away from huge power shots. I think Cain will be able to edge that one out. 

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Fighters picking Cain Velasquez: Brad Pickett, Renato Moicano, Anthony Pettis, Max Griffin, Alonzo Menifield, Bi Nguyen, Ricky Simon, Damien Brown, Diego Ferreira, Miles Johns

Fighters picking Francis Ngannou: None

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/15/2019.