UFC On ESPN: On This Day Francis Ngannou Rises Up


It had been seven years since the UFC set up shop in Minneapolis, but on June 29, 2019, they returned with a heavyweight main event. Future champion Francis Ngannou shined bright inside the Target Center at UFC on ESPN 3, besting former champion Junior dos Santos.

UFC On ESPN 3: Francis Ngannou Destroys JDS

Junior dos Santos was no match for Francis Ngannou when they squared off on June 29, 2019 from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Live on ESPN, the future UFC heavyweight champion imposed his will in front of 10,000-plus fans at UFC on ESPN 3.

This marked the first time that the promotion had visited Minneapolis since 2012. That night also saw a heavyweight main event between Travis Browne and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

The original main event was scheduled to be a meeting pitting former welterweight champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler against one another. Interestingly enough, this was the third time officials had booked Ngnannou vs. dos Santos, having to scrap it from UFC 215 and UFC 239.

Joseph Benavidez, Demian Maia Secure Wins

Two names very familiar with the MMA world earned victories in featured main card bouts.

Joseph Benavidez stopped Jussier Formiga with a head-kick followed by punches, while Demian Maia downed Anthony Rocco Martin.

Other main card winners included Vinc Pichel, Drew Dober and Alonzo Menifield.

Several Changes Made To Card

The night was to feature several other planned bouts, but changes were made leading up to it. One of those was Sergio Pettis, as the current Bellator champion was to meet Ricardo Ramos.

One fighter, Vince Murdock, was removed after receiving a 20-month suspension from USADA for testing positive for GW1516. That is better known as Cardarine, which is often sold on the black market as Endurobol.

Murdock later revealed it tested positive for high grad stenosis, which was later diagnosed as Moyamoya disease.

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