UFC 270 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Ngannou vs. Gane
There are few things in combat sports more exciting than a massive heavyweight fight like the UFC 270 headliner between Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane on Saturday.
The division of big men doesn't always deliver the highest level of MMA. But the idea of two highly skilled big men fighting on the largest stage in the sport is a tantalizing prospect for fans.
It doesn't get more highly skilled than Ngannou and Gane. The Predator comes in as the champion but a small underdog against the rising contender in Bon Gamin. The fact that there's some personal history between the former training partners only adds to the intrigue.
It's the kind of fight that will be driven by unanswered questions. With both fighters in the midst of dominant streaks, something has to give.
The heavyweight crown isn't the only thing on the line. The men's flyweight division will play host to the third fight between new champion Brandon Moreno and former champ Deiveson Figueiredo in the co-main event.
Here's a look at the entire card and the biggest questions that will drive the biggest fights.
UFC 270 Fight Card, Schedule and Odds—January 22
Main Card (ESPN+ Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Francis Ngannou (+125, bet $100 to win $125) vs. Ciryl Gane (-145, bet $145 to win $100) – for heavyweight title
- Brandon Moreno (-180) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+155) – for flyweight title
- Andre Fialho (+225) vs. Michel Pereira (-280)
- Said Nurmagomedov (-195) vs. Cody Stamann (+165)
- Trevin Giles (-105) vs. Michael Morales (-115)
Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
- Raoni Barcelos (-510) vs. Victor Henry (+375)
- Tony Gravely (-250) vs. Saimon Oliveira (+200)
- Jack Della Maddalena (-335) vs. Pete Rodriguez (+260)
- Matt Frevola (-200) vs. Genaro Valdez (+170)
Early Prelims (ESPN+, 6:15 p.m. ET)
- Vanessa Demopoulos (-140) vs. Silvana Juarez (+120)
- Kay Hansen (-235) vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius (+190)
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Can Gane's Movement Avoid Ngannou's Power?
Ciryl Gane is a unique heavyweight. His blend of technique, fight IQ, versatility and athleticism breaks the mold in a division typically defined by lumbering brawlers or power wrestlers.
If you were to create the perfect fighter to unseat champion Francis Ngannou, he would look a whole lot like Gane. He has the cardio to last five rounds, and he has won fights as both an aggressive knockout artist and a more tactical, patient fighter.
For Gane to win the strap in this one, he is going to have to be the more patient and tactical version of himself. Getting into a slugfest with Ngannou is not advisable for anyone.
So the question becomes whether Gane can use his leg kicks and jab to keep the distance over the course of five rounds.
It's hard to answer that question with a yes given the champion's track record. Gane is the most prepared to unseat the champion, but his margin for error is terrifyingly thin.
Prediction: Ngannou via second-round TKO
Does Figueiredo Have Anything New to Offer Moreno?
Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo are set to fight for a third consecutive time.
The problem is, this matchup feels like a direct result of the state of the flyweight division instead of a necessary bout.
The first time the two fought was a hotly contested majority draw. Moreno's competitiveness could have been explained away by the incredibly short turnaround Figueiredo undertook in fighting in back-to-back pay-per-views.
But he had a full fight camp in the second fight, and Moreno was even better. He got the better of the striking and ultimately scored a rear-naked choke submission win.
So the driving question here is whether Figueiredo has anything new he can bring to the table in the trilogy. With no fights between his previous two with Moreno, it's hard to have faith.
Prediction: Moreno via decision
Should Michel Pereira Be on Upset Alert?
Michel Pereira is the biggest favorite among all the main card fighters. He gets a prime spot to shine going against Andre Fialho, who will be making his UFC debut.
Pereira is an exciting fighter. He's not afraid to pull off some unorthodox techniques and is on a three-fight win streak. Initially, he was scheduled to fight Muslim Salikhov, who is an up-and-comer in his own right.
But that fight was pulled, and Fiahlo was tabbed to be the replacement opponent. That seems like a break for Pereira, but Fialho could be dangerous. He's coming to the UFC on the strength of a four-fight win streak, with all the wins coming by way of knockout.
Fialho appears to have stopping power in his hands, but the level of competition he has faced has been questionable. The most recognizable name is James Vick, who was cut from the UFC after four straight losses.
Pereira is probably going to get the win here, but it could be riskier than the odds would have people believe.
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