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PFL championship preview: Abusupiyan Magomedov, Louis Taylor battle for $1 million at middleweight

On Dec. 31, the Professional Fighters League host its first championship card, where six season titles are on the line, not to mention six prizes of $1 million each. Today, courtesy of the PFL, we look at the middleweight final, where Abusupiyan Magomedov (22-3-1) takes on Louis Taylor (17-4-1)...

On Dec. 31, the Professional Fighters League host its first championship card, where six season titles are on the line, not to mention six prizes of $1 million each.

Today, courtesy of the PFL, we look at the middleweight final, where Abusupiyan Magomedov (22-3-1) takes on Louis Taylor (17-4-1) at Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York live on NBCSN.

Check out the video above.

Also see:

And for more on PFL 11, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

Francis Ngannou vs. ex-champ Cain Velasquez in the works for UFC on ESPN 1 headliner

Gallery Photos: Best of Francis Ngannou view 19 images After headlining the promotion’s debut on FOX in 2011, it appears Cain Velasquez will also help usher in the UFC’s new era on ESPN in February. The former UFC heavyweight champion Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) is touted to make...

After headlining the promotion’s debut on FOX in 2011, it appears Cain Velasquez will also help usher in the UFC’s new era on ESPN in February.

The former UFC heavyweight champion Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) is touted to make his return to the octagon after more than two years when he meets knockout specialist Francis Ngannou (12-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in the UFC on ESPN 1 headliner.

MMAjunkie verified that the matchup between Ngannou and Velasquez is in the works for card with a person close to the situation following an initial report from ESPN.com. The person requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to make an official announcement.

UFC on ESPN 1 takes place Feb. 17 at Talking Stick Resort & Casino in Phoenix, Ariz. The card airs on ESPN following early prelims on ESPN+.

Ngannou, No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, is coming off a crucial victory for his career against Curtis Blaydes in he UFC Fight Night 141 main event in November. After going on a tear in the division to a title fight, Ngannou lost definitively to then-champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January. He followed that up with a forgettable effort against Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 in July.

With his stock at an all-time low, Ngannou, 32, needed just 45 seconds to tear through Blaydes for a first-round TKO to put himself back on track.

“The Predator” will attempt to play spoiler for the return of Velasquez, 36, who hasn’t fought since a first-round TKO of Travis Browne at UFC 200 in July 2016. The former two-time heavyweight titleholder has fought just twice in the past five years due to a plethora of injuries, but apparently has been healthy for a while in hopes of making a return to the octagon. Velasquez’s team hinted that contract negotiations had hit a stall with the UFC brass and that was preventing his comeback, but now it seems all those issues have been sorted, clearing the way for his return against Ngannou.

The latest UFC on ESPN 1 card now includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez
  • Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Lauren Murphy
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Jessica Penne
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Cortney Casey
  • Paul Felder vs. James Vick
  • Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire
  • Manny Bermudez vs. Benito Lopez
  • Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
  • Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Nik Lentz

For more on UFC on ESPN 1, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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