The bout has since been confirmed by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, who says UFC President Dana White confirmed the bouts status. Helwani also reports that Velasquez has signed a new four fight deal with the promotion.
Ngannou (12-3-0) has won just one of his last three under the UFC banner, with that lone win coming over Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Fight Night Beijing. Ngannou has previously challenged for the UFC Heavyweight Title, losing to then champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 220. Ngannou has suffered three losses as a professional MMA fighter and all of them have come by way of decision.
Velasquez (14-2-0) is returning to action for the first time in over two years, with his last bout happening at UFC 200 in July of 2016. Velasquez is a former two time UFC Heavyweight Champion, defeating Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos to start both reigns. Velasquez has picked up fourteen wins as a professional MMA fighter and twelve of them have come by way of KO/TKO.
UFC Fight Night Phoenix takes place on Sunday, February 17 from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona with Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on ESPN.