The first UFC PPV event of the new year will be a doozy. Francis Ngannou will defend his heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. Although Ngannou is the current champion, there are many that think he will lose to the unbeaten Gane as he has been awfully impressive over the course of his short career. That’s the fight that everyone is circling, but Brandon Moreno will also be defending his flyweight title against former champion Deiveson Figueiredo in southern California.
UFC 270 will take place on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The prelims will get underway at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN Plus, and the main event will start at 10 p.m. ET.
Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane
In the lead up to this fight, there has been a lot of back-and-forth between Francis Ngannou and Dana White. Ngannou has repeatedly criticized White for underpaying him and other UFC fighters, and he has openly talked about transitioning to boxing to take on current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
The current champion is in an interesting position right now. Ngannou is in the last fight of his current contract, and a loss would mean that he would be free to pursue other ventures. However, a win over Ciryl Gane would activate the champion’s clause, and he would be tied to the UFC for either another three fights or a calendar year. That means it could be in his best financial interests to lose to Gane on Saturday night.
Ngannou is the most intimidating heavyweight we have seen in some time. He has won five straight fights, and he finished four of his opponents inside of 75 seconds. Ngannou won Performance of the Night bonuses for his wins over Curtis Blaydes, Junior dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and he claimed the bonus and the UFC Heavyweight Championship against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 last March.
Gane has been more methodical than Ngannou, but he has been very intimidating too since joining the UFC in August 2019. He has won seven fights in less than 30 months with the promotion, and he has shown he can go the distance. Gane has two knockouts, two submissions, and three unanimous decision wins in those victories.
Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
For the third time in the last 13 months, Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo will square off for the UFC Flyweight Championship. The first fight between these competitors at UFC 256 ended in a majority draw after Figueiredo lost a point in the third round due to repeated low blows. The second fight saw Moreno submit Figueriedo in the third round, claiming the title for the first time with the win. This is expected to be the third and final fight between the fighters, and its winner take all at this point.
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Cody Stamann
Casual MMA fans will raise an eyebrow when they see the name Nurmagomedov, but Said Nurmagomedov is not related to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Both fighters are from the Dagestan region of Russia, yet they are not brothers or even cousins like some have claimed over the years.
Said Nurmagomedov has made a name in his own right as an MMA fighter. He is 14-2 in his professional career with his only two losses coming by decision. Cody Stamann figures to be a fierce opponent although Stamann has lost his last two fights.