Francis Ngannou has signed to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit. He will face former Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem. The bout is expected to serve as a de facto No. 1 contender’s bout for a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Ngannou announced the fight via a Facebook Live video on the UFC’s official page.
Currently ranked No. 4 in the UFC heavyweight division, this is the most significant fight that Ngannou (10-1) could sign without facing Miocic for the belt.
The only blemish on Ngannou’s record came in his second professional fight four years ago. He has since reeled off 10 consecutive victories. He had expected to face former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 215 on Sept. 9, but Dos Santos had to withdraw because of a knee injury. Officials were unable to find a suitable replacement in time to keep Ngannou on the card.
It’s certainly a risky fight for Overeem, who already holds the No. 1 ranking in the division. But it’s a risk that he has said he is willing to take.
“Francis is a very strong guy and he’s doing really good,” Overeem said of Ngannou at a fan question and answer session in Rotterdam.
“But yeah, I’m open. If the UFC call me and say lets do this, then I’ll certainly say yes.”
It appears the UFC called Overeem because they are now set to square off at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit.
Francis N'Gannou breaks news of his next fight.