As the first major UFC event of the new year, UFC 270 has the opportunity to open the new year with a bang. The upcoming mixed martial arts event will feature two main event bouts with titles on the line. In the true main event, UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou will take on interim champion Ciryl Gane. Before that, UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno will defend his crown against challenger Deiveson Figueiredo.
Below we take a deeper dive into each matchup and give a prediction on who will end up taking home the crown for each bout at the end of the night.
Known as one of the hardest-hitting (he is known for being the hardest record puncher in the world), Ngannou is a devastating fighter. The Cameroonian mixed martial artist is currently ranked as the No. 4 overall fighter in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. Ngannou has won his last five fights by either knockout or technical knockout. A truly powerful competitor, Ngannou has not lost since mid-2018 to Derrick Lewis and avenged an earlier loss to Stipe Miocic by taking the UFC Heavyweight Championship from him at UFC 260.
Opposing the champion will be the interim heavyweight title holder, Ciryl Gane. Since turning professional in 2016, Gane currently boasts an undefeated record of 10-0. The 31-year old is coming off a victory over Lewis at UFC 265 that was not only for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship, but also the Performance of the Night. Unlike Ngannou, who mainly utilizes his superb strength to overwhelm opponents, Gane’s decisions have been fairly evenly split between knockouts (four), submissions (three), and decisions (three).
|UFC 270 Heavyweight Championship||Francis Ngannou||Ciryl Gane|
|Height||6 ft 4 in||6 ft 4 in|
|Weight||263 lb||247 lb|
|Reach||83 in||81 in|
Prediction: In a truly interesting heavyweight clash, Ngannou vs. Gane will come down to whether or not the interim champion can weather the flurry of punishment the champion will inflict during the battle. If he does do that, then Gane has an excellent shot of becoming the undisputed title holder. However, I do not think that will happen as I see Ngannou unifying the titles.
The other title bout of the evening will feature a trilogy bout between champion Brandon Moreno and former champion Deiveson Figueiredo. The duo first met at UFC 256, with their contest ending in a majority draw that saw Figuriredo retain his title. Their rematch then took place at UFC 263 where Moreno was able to capture the championship in the third round via submission.
For Moreno, this contest represents an opportunity to solidify his claim as the king of the UFC Flyweight Division. Recognized as the No. 10 overall fighter in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings, the “Assassin Baby” has put together a 19-5 record overall in his MMA career. What’s more is that Moreno has also not lost since May of 2018. Since then, he has notched a record of 4-0-2.
Opposite him will be his familiar rival and former UFC Flyweight Champion, Figueiredo. Perhaps the owner of the best nickname in the UFC, “Deus Da Guerra” or “God of War” the 33-year old Brazilian fighter has his work cut out for him if he wants to take back his crown. That said, Figueiredo has an impressive track record in MMA.
Prior to his series against Moreno, the Brazilian had notched a record of 20-1 in professional bouts. What’s interesting is that even given his rather slight stature, Figueiredo has won almost half of his fights by way of knockout (nine).
Prediction: In what will certainly be an action-packed bout, I see Figueiredo taking home the title and reclaiming his crown at the top of the UFC Flyweight division.
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