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Francis Ngannou vs. Andrei Arlovski added to UFC on FOX 23

Heavyweight prospect Francis Ngannou will take on former champion Andrei Arlovski at next month’s UFC on FOX 23 card in Denver, Colorado.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Ngannou vs Hamilton Michael Adamucci-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for the UFC to match Francis Ngannou against a top 10 opponent. The French heavyweight prospect will take on #8 ranked Andrei Arlovski at UFC on FOX 23, on Saturday, January 28th in Denver, Colorado. UFC officials announced the new bout on Wednesday.

Ngannou (9-1) is 4-0 in the UFC, with his most recent win coming just 6 days ago in Albany, where he submitted Anthony Hamilton in the 1st round with a kimura. His previous three wins inside the Octagon — vs. Bojan Mihajlovic, Curtis Blaydes, and Luis Henrique — all ended in KO or TKO. The only time the 30-year-old has gone the distance in a fight was also the only loss of his career (vs. Zoumana Cisse). Ngannou is currently #11 in the UFC’s rankings.

Arlovski (25-13, 1 NC) fought 3 times this year, but lost all of them by stoppage. His six-fight winning streak was quickly halted by Stipe Miocic at UFC 195, then he was knocked out by Alistair Overeem at UFC Rotterdam in May, and in the UFC Hamburg main event in September, he was choked out by Josh Barnett. It marked the first time that Arlovski had ever been submitted in his 17-year MMA career. The former UFC heavyweight champion’s last win was a unanimous decision over Frank Mir at UFC 191.

UFC on FOX 23 is headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between top contenders Julianna Pena and Valentina Shevchenko. Also booked for this event is a welterweight bout between Donald Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal.