UFC BETTING PREVIEW: UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane
The UFC finally returns with a numbered card this weekend, the first of 2022.
Last week Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze got the year off to a cracking start at UFC Fight Night, and this should be no different, with two title bouts headlining.
We have two French-speaking heavyweights topping the bill in this one, as Francis Ngannou defends his UFC Heavyweight Championship in, potentially, his last-ever appearance in the UFC.
Unless he wins …. but we’ll get to that shortly.
Let’s look at the main card, starting with our heavy hitters…
Francis Ngannou(16-3) vs. Cyril Gane(10-0) – Heavyweight Championship
Our main event has a number of narratives interlaced within. It’s Champion vs. Interim Champion, it’s former teammates colliding, it’s a champion and star who’s fallen out with the owner and wants to leave the organisation. There’s no shortage of interest here.
Ngannou, who hasn’t fought since his decimation of former champion Stipe Miocic in March of last year where he picked up the belt, is currently embroiled in a dispute with UFC owner Dana White.
The Cameroonian isn’t happy with his pay, and wants to exit his contract, which has one fight remaining, this Saturday. The sticking point is the ‘championship clause’ in his, and most, of UFC’s contracts.
He’s in the awkward position where a win would extend his contract BY a further fight, while a loss would allow him to leave the UFC, but of course, with the stain of a defeat in a title defence, surely making him less attractive for big money offers from, say, a Tyson Fury.
His former teammate Cyril Gane, trained by Fernand Lopez in Paris, who Ngannou decided to part ways with after his loss to Miocic in their first fight in 2018, has meanwhile been making hay while the sun shines.
The 10-0 Frenchman has picked up three impressive victories in the last year, culminating in winning the Interim belt with an impressive TKO of perennial title scene occupier Derrick Lewis.
Gane comes into this one, surprisingly, as the betting favourite, possibly due to him being known to be a better grappler than Ngannou, as well as rumours concerning past sparring sessions between the two.
It also has to be asked “where is Ngannou’s head at?” given his situation, but in terms of the evidence we have, Ngannou is great value in this one.
Ngannou 6/5, Gane 4/6
Brandon Moreno(19-5-2) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo(20-2-1) – Flyweight Championship
It’s a trilogy fight, as Brandon Moreno v Deiveson Figueiredo go at it for the third time.
After their first fight ended in a majority draw back in December 2020, the two met again in June of 2021 where Brandon Moreno put in a masterful performance in which he dominated the fight on all levels before pulling off a rear naked choke for the submission victory.
The defeat had seemingly sent Figueiredo packing to Bantamweight after a number of difficult weight cuts for the Brazilian, but pride has seen the 34-year-old back for a crack at his former belt.
Moreno is rightly favourite after their second bout, where he jabbed Figueiredo early and often, and kept his opponent swinging at air.
It will be crucial for the challenger to build his attacks in this one, and not just rely on his power. Cutting the cage off and attacking the legs and body would be a start, which could lead to the brawl he seeks.
But Moreno seemed to have figured his opponent out back in June, and this will be a case of who’s learned the most and made the better adjustments.
Moreno 4/7, Figueiredo 11/8
Andre Fialho(14-3(1)) v Michel Pereira(26-11(2)) – Welterweight
Michel Pereira is known for being wild and unpredictable in the octagon, but of late seems to have solved some of the inconsistency issues that plagued his early UFC bouts.
The Brazilian is now on a three-fight win streak and a victory here could signal big things for the 28-year-old, with a potential star name up next.
But he’ll have to be extremely careful, as while Fialho is relatively unknown, he’s a knockout artist who, if he causes an upset here, could immediately thrust himself into the higher echelons of the 170 lbs division.
This one will do very well indeed to get to the final horn.
Fialho 9/4, Pereira 1/3
Cody Stamann(19-4-1) vs. Said Nurmagomedov(14-2) – Bantamweight
This is a battle between two highly-skilled but currently unranked bantamweights.
Stamann is looking to get back on track after two defeats on the bounce, before which he was highly-ranked, and may not have been far from a crack at the 135 lbs belt.
For Nurmagomedov it’s not been defeats that have held him back but inactivity, with his last fight coming all the way back in October of 2020.
He’ll be looking to make a bang on his return and start 2022 off with a win, before getting back into action sooner rather than later.
Don’t be fooled by his surname either, as for the most part, Said has operated as more of a striker than a grappler despite being very well rounded.
Both men have, in their own way, redemption on the table in this one, but the Dagestani appears to be most people’s favoured winner here.
Stamann 13/8, Nurmagomedov 1/2
Rodolfo Vieira(8-1) vs. Wellington Turman(17-5) – Middleweight
Rodolfo Vieira was on a tear prior to his first MMA loss in February of 2021, where a poor gas tank caught up with him against Anthony Hernandez.
He got straight back on track however against Dustin Stolzfus, earning a bonus in the process. Seven of the eight finishes Vieira has earned have come by way of submission, which is reflected in the odds (11/10 to win via sub).
Turman hasn’t had quite the same successful start to his UFC career, having lost three of his first four in the octagon. But that didn’t get him down as he returned in August 2021 with a victory over Sam Alvey.
Turman is a grappler himself, but his experience is far from that of Vieira’s, so while he may be a slightly better striker, it’s hard to see how he keeps this one from going to the ground at Vieira’s will.
This is more of a ‘return to form’ fight for Vieira, and I expect him to get the submission victory here.
Vieira 4/9, Turman 7/4
Check out all of these bouts, as well as the undercard betting right HERE