A heavyweight fight that was scheduled to happen two years ago is back on for 2019 International Fight Week.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on Friday that former UFC champion Junior dos Santos and former title challenger Francis Ngannou are set for UFC 239 on July 6th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The matchup was notably booked for UFC 215 in September of 2017, but dos Santos was removed after testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide. Dos Santos served a reduced suspension when it was found out he’d ingested a contaminated supplement.
The 35-year-old dos Santos (21-5) is enjoying a three-fight winning streak, including a TKO of Derrick Lewis at UFC Wichita earlier this month. He’s also beaten Tai Tuivasa and Blagoi Ivanov during what has been his longest run of victories since his 9-0 start to his UFC career.
Ngannou (13-3) is one of the most terrifying strikers in all of MMA. The Frenchman by way of Cameroon famously had a quick rise to a title shot against then-champion Stipe Miocic, but lost a one-sided decision. A dismal decision defeat to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 soon followed, as he scarcely threw any strikes. Since then, he’s quickly TKO’d Curtis Blaydes and former champ Cain Velasquez in a combined 71 seconds.
UFC 239 features a main event between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Thiago Santos, while two-division champion Amanda Nunes defends her women’s bantamweight belt against Holly Holm in the co-main event.