On Saturday night, the Octagon returned to ESPN with UFC Minneapolis. In the main event of this card, Francis Ngannou took on Junior dos Santos in a pivotal heavyweight contender bout.
The fight did not last long. Ngannou dropped dos Santos and finished him with strikes just 71 seconds into the fight. Now, Francis Ngannou could very well get another title shot, while for the former champion dos Santos, it is a step back in what appeared to be a resurgence in his career.
Here is what we think should be next for Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos after UFC Minneapolis.
After Francis Ngannou was outwrestled and frankly dominated by Stipe Miocic, many thought that was the blueprint to beat him. Then, in his next fight against Derrick Lewis, he couldn’t pull the trigger on his punches, which was another worrying sign. But, in his last three fights, he’s looked like a juggernaut.
Ngannou went to China to take on Curtis Blaydes and knocked him out, then knocked out Cain Velasquez and now Junior dos Santos. This leaves only one option for his next fight and that is to fight the winner of Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic’s UFC 241 heavyweight title fight.
Francis Ngannou has been on a roll, and should not be counted out in a rematch against Miocic or a showdown with Cormier. Regardless, he should be fighting for the title next.
Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos will now need to string together a few more wins if he is going to climb back up the rankings and into another title fight. The Brazilian looked as good as ever as of late but came up short against Ngannou. Now, a logical next fight is against Alexander Volkov who has yet to fight dos Santos.
The Russian is coming off of a knockout loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 229 and is sidelined due to undisclosed reasons. Junior dos Santos will need time off following his knockout loss to Francis Ngannou, which could mean a late 2019 to early 2020 return, which could work for Volkov’s timeline. It would be a fight between top-10 fighters where the winner could start another march to the top.
Who do you think should be next for Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos after UFC Minneapolis?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/30/2019.