UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane Odds, Predictions and Pre-Weigh-In Hype
A potential all-time-great fight in the heavyweight division anchors UFC 270. Francis Ngannou will defend his belt against rising contender Ciryl Gane to close out the show from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
It is fitting that the title fight should take place at the Honda Center. After all, that is where Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar met in one of the division's most anticipated title fights of all time. That fight paired the hulking Lesnar against the smaller and faster Velasquez.
This matchup has a similar vibe to it. Ngannou is the prototypical heavyweight. His power is renowned throughout the division, and his ability to put anyone to sleep at any point is fascinating. He'll meet his counterpoint in Gane, who may be the smaller of the two but brings a technical ferocity to the game that could be championship-worthy.
The card will go from one end of the spectrum to the other. Before the heavyweights throw down, the flyweight title will be up for grabs as Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo meet for the third time.
Here's a look at the complete card for the first pay-per-view event of 2022 as well as the latest hype from the fighters.
Fight Card, Schedule and Odds—January 22
Main Card (ESPN+ PPV at 10 p.m. ET)
- Francis Ngannou (c) +135 vs. Ciryl Gane (ic) -155 - Heavyweight Championship
- Brandon Moreno (c) -180 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo +155 - Flyweight Championship
- Michel Pereira Lima -280 vs. Andre Fialho +225
- Cody Stamann +170 vs. Said Nurmagomedov -200
- Rodolfo Vieira -225 vs. Wellington Turman +185
Prelims (ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET)
- Raoni Barcelos -510 vs. Victor Henry +375
- Ilia Topuria -550 vs. Charles Jourdain +400
- Jack Della Maddalena -350 vs. Pete Rodriguez +270
- Michael Morales -125 vs. Trevin Giles +105
Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET)
- Tony Gravely -240 vs. Saimon Oliveira +195
- Silvana Juarez +115 vs. Vanessa Demopoulos -135
- Matt Frevola -190 vs. Genaro Valdez +160
- Kay Hansen -225 vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius +185
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Ngannou Sees Knockout in Under 2 Rounds
Francis Ngannou isn't going to seek a knockout finish, but he knows that's where most of his fights end up.
The Predator has already established himself as one of the best knockout artists in the history of the division. He is on a five-fight win streak in which he has knocked out every opponent before the end of the second round.
In fact, Stipe Miocic is the only one who survived the first round with the champion in that stretch.
Despite the skills that Ciryl Gane brings to the table, the champion sees this matchup playing out in a similar fashion.
"The knockout doesn't come when I search it, so I won't be searching for the knockout, but I don't see how we will end this fight without me knocking him out, maybe under two rounds," Ngannou told TMZ Sports.
Gane is the most compelling challenger to the title outside of Jon Jones at this point. His tight technique and ability to fight at a relatively fast pace give him a shot at becoming the champion in this spot.
But Ngannou's own technical prowess, as well as his patience and power, make it hard not to see another knockout victory.
Prediction: Ngannou via second-round TKO
Moreno Expecting Lots of Support from Anaheim Crowd
Brandon Moreno is the first and only UFC champion to be born in Mexico. While this fight won't be taking place in his home country, it doesn't get much better than Anaheim.
The Southern California city is within driving distance of Moreno's home city of Tijuana, Mexico. When Velasquez defeated Lesnar in Anaheim back in 2010, he did so with plenty of backing from Mexican and Mexican-American fans. He became the first person of Mexican descent to win a UFC title that night.
Fighting Figueiredo for the third time, Moreno expects the energy from the crowd to be in his favor.
"I know a lot of guys from Tijuana who are going to the Honda Center that night to support me," Moreno told MMAjunkie. "I’m excited, man. I’m excited to feel that good vibe that night. I felt it in Arizona when I won the title, and I know this time will be the same or even better.”
If Figueiredo is going to pull off the upset here, he's going to have to overcome the evidence of the past as well as a home crowd for the champion. Moreno clearly won the last fight even before he finished it off with a third-round rear-naked choke.
The second fight was obviously close enough to be declared a draw, but that was before Moreno had built the confidence that he could dethrone the champion. The crowd is only going to feed that confidence.
Prediction: Moreno via decision