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Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou set for UFC on FOX 23

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The first FOX show of 2017 just received a big-time match-up. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will square off against rising heavyweight prospect Francis Ngannou on Jan. 28 at UFC on FOX 23.

The UFC announced the booking Wednesday on UFC Tonight.

Arlovski (25-13, 1 NC) enters the contest having lost three consecutive fights this year via stoppage, faltering at the hands of Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett.

The slump halted an unexpected career resurgence for Arlovski that saw the 37-year-old Jackson-Winkeljohn product compile a 10-1 record since mid-2011 while propelling his name into UFC title contention. Arlovski is currently the No. 8 ranked heavyweight on the UFC's media-generated rankings.

He faces a different beast in Ngannou (9-1) though, as the 30-year-old Frenchman appears to be one of the most promising prospects seen in the heavyweight division in some time.

Nicknamed "The Predator," Ngannou has been flawless over his early UFC career, racking up an undefeated 4-0 record with all four wins coming by way of stoppage. Ngannou picked up his most impressive win to date this past weekend when he submitted Anthony Hamilton with a ridiculous kimura in less than two minutes at UFC Fight Night 102. He is currently the No. 11 ranked heavyweight on the UFC's roster.

UFC on FOX 23 takes place at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The main card will air live on FOX.

An updated UFC on FOX 23 fight card can be seen below.

  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Hector Lombard vs. Brad Tavares
  • J.C. Cottrell vs. Jason Gonzalez
  • Alexandre Pantoja vs. Eric Shelton