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UFC news, rumors: Francis Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos moved, Justin Gaethje wants Conor McGregor

One of the most anticipated heavyweight fights of the summer now has a new home and even bigger positioning on the card. UFC announced on Tuesday that the scheduled fight between title contenders Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos has been moved from the UFC 239 undercard on July 6 during International Fight Week to the UFC Fight Night main event slot on June 29 in Minneapolis. 

The opening for this move was created by another fight fans were looking forward to being removed from the schedule as former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was forced to pull out of his rematch with Robbie Lawler after suffering a hand injury. UFC officials attempted to keep Lawler in the main event by searching for another opponent, but it seems their efforts could not turn in positive results. 

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Dos Santos (21-5), a former heavyweight champion, has been on a tear as he aims to make his way back to the top of the mountain. He’s won his last three fights, including emerging victorious in his last two outings via TKO in the second round. Dos Santos most recently defeated Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Fight Night 146 in March. 

Ngannou (13-3), once thought to be a destructive force in UFC the likes of a 1980s Mike Tyson, has done a respectable job of earning his way back into heavyweight title contention following two consecutive losses. He’s reverted back to the fighter that everyone once feared, earning two straight first-round TKO victories including stopping the legendary Cain Velasquez in his last performance at UFC on ESPN 1 in February. 

The winner of this UFC Fight Night main event should be next in line to challenge for the heavyweight title, facing whomever comes out on top when champion Daniel Cormier defends against ex-titleholder Stipe Miocic in their rematch scheduled to take place at UFC 241 in August. 

More UFC news, rumors

  • With two consecutive first-round KO victories under his belt, lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is not prepared to settle for opponents any longer; he wants the marquee fight many of us do. In an interview with ESPN, UFC’s resident violence expert, the No. 5-ranked competitor at 155 pounds, made it crystal clear that he’s aiming for a clash with the former dual-champ — a fight that’s still completely possible to make as we await the return of McGregor. 
  • It’s been nearly 11 years since heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell first met one another inside at cage under the Affliction banner. Well, guess what? UFC has decided to give us the rematch after all that time. According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Arlovski and Rothwell will run it back on July 20 as part of the UFC Fight Night card in San Antonio. Arlovski won that 2008 meeting via third-round KO.