Andrei Arlovski to face Francis Ngannou at UFC on Fox 23

Former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski

The UFC has announced a heavyweight contest between former champion Andrei Arlovski and Francis Ngannou. The bout will be part of UFC on Fox 23, which takes place Jan. 28 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Arlovski will return to action for the first time since falling to Josh Barnett at UFC Fight Night 93 last September. The defeat was his third in a row after falling to Alistair Overeem and Stipe Miocic. Arlovski returned to the UFC in 2014 after a six year absence. He began his second run in the promotion with four-straight victories over Brendan Schaub, Antonio Silva, Travis Browne and former champion Frank Mir.

In 2005, Arlovski defeated Tim Sylvia for the interim heavyweight title. He was later promoted to undisputed champion. He defended the title twice before losing it back to Sylvia in 2006.

Ngannou recently picked up his first submission win in the UFC. He defeated Anthony Hamilton with a Kimura lock at UFC Fight Night 102. He joined the UFC in 2015 and has gone 4-0 in the promotion.

In the main event of UFC on Fox 23, contenders Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena will face off in a women’s bantamweight contest.