Francis Ngannou is set to return to the Octagon against Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC Fight Columbus in March. The heavy hitter is leading the way as the favorite to win in their the upcoming fight.
Ngannou last fought in June of 2019, when he took on Junior Dos Santos in the main event of UFC Minneapolis. The 33-year old utilized his striking to accomplish a first-round victory. “The Predator” currently has three back-to-back first-round finishes. Prior to Junior Dos Santos, the heavyweight star beat Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez by TKO in under a minute each.
The online sportsbook BetOnline revealed that Ngannou is currently a -350 betting favorite for this matchup. That means a successful $350 bet on him would win you $100.
His opponent, Rozenstruik, meanwhile has been labelled a +275 underdog. That means that a successful $100 bet on him would earn you $275.
Rozenstruik is coming off a shocking victory over Alistair Overeem. “The Reem” was leading on the judge’s scorecards, but Rozenstruik managed to turn things around in the eleventh hour, TKO’ing his opponent with five seconds left on the clock. The heavyweight only made his UFC debut in February 2019 and has tallied a string of four knockout victories since then.
The winner of their heavyweight bout will arguably be the top contender in the UFC’s 265-pound heavyweight division. The destiny of the heavyweight belt remains uncertain as the current champion, Stipe Miocic, is expected to fight Daniel Cormier in a blockbuster rematch in 2020 — possibly in June.
Francis Ngannou previously fought Stipe Miocic in 2018 and lost by unanimous decision. The Predator has accused the UFC of keeping him as a heavyweight gatekeeper. A victory over the undefeated Rozenstruik could open up the possibility of fighting Miocic and vindicating his loss in a title bout.
Which knock out artist do you think will take the victory in the UFC Columbus headliner? Did the oddsmakers get it right?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/18/2019.