Ufc 270
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

New FSM Essential Recap: UFC 270 – Ngannou vs Gane

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The UFC kicks off its 2022 pay-per-view schedule with a clash in the heavyweight division in UFC 270.

 

UFC 270
Photo Credit: Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The UFC is back and kicking off 2022 with a showdown for the heavyweight title as interim champion Ciryl Gane challenges champion Francis Ngannou at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

In a battle for the label of “Baddest Man on the Planet,” two of the best heavyweights will collide inside the octagon to unify the title as there can only be one who wears the crown.

Gane (10-0 4 KOs) has been wrecking opponents inside the octagon since he debuted in 2019, rattling off seven impressive wins in the UFC, including capturing the interim title with a victory over Derek Lewis at UFC 265. Undefeated in MMA but also kickboxing (13-0 9 KOs), Gane has yet to taste defeat in combat sports. His excellent striking technique, foot movement, combinations, and precision aim, have made him one of the more feared heavyweights in the world in quick order.

Early on, it was clear that Gane was a special breed of fighter and would rise up the ranks quickly. In his seven UFC fights, four have come by finish (2 TKOs 2 SUBs). The French fighter has shown a wide range of skills he can call on when attacking. Because of his movement defense, Gane is one of the least hit heavyweights in the division, which adds to him being able to have tremendous cardio and outlast his opponents as the fight wears on.

Gane isn’t a big swing-for-the-fence type of striker. Instead, he uses combinations, accuracy, sets traps, and picks his opponent apart over time. Yes, the power is there, but he would much prefer a more cerebral approach that keeps him out of harm’s way but puts his opponents in the red zone. Gane has all the makings of being a great heavyweight champion, and he gets his chance to solidify this with a victory over the current titleholder.

That titleholder, the king of the mountain, the reigning and defending heavyweight champion, is none other than Francis Ngannou (16-3 12 KOs). One of the most feared punchers in MMA history, Ngannou has shown time and time again that if he lands his cement-filled lunch box hands on you, it’s nighty night. Winning the title from Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, Francis hasn’t fought since.

 

UFC 270
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

While known for his tremendous power, Ngannou has shown improvement in his approach is not just swinging wildly for the fences but instead choosing to set up his strikes and wait for an opening to unleash his wrath. Two of Ngannous biggest knockouts came against Miocic, whom he defeated for the title, and against former kickboxing legend Alistair Overeem in 2017 at UFC 218. The latter fight earned him the knockout of the year and, to this day, is one of the more vicious one-punch finishes we’ve ever seen in combat sports.

Ngannou vs Gane will be the ultimate clash of power vs technique. Both are obviously dangerous, and opponents don’t want to allow either to find their groove and get comfortable and start throwing bombs away. Can Gane bounce in and out, landing one-two combos and avoiding the big punches of Ngannou? Will the champion be able to find his timing and counter the challenger’s attack and find success with his own offense?

At heavyweight, any match can end with one shot, and in the case of Ngannou, many of his bouts do just that, but he can’t rely solely on his power, looking for that one strike to land and end the fight. Gane is a veteran of kickboxing and MMA, so he’ll look to avoid, frustrate, and hopefully lead Francis into making mistakes, leaving openings for him to pick apart. Both have sparred with each other in the past, so there is some familiarity there, but this is the real deal now. Whoever can inflict their will the most will more than likely see their hand raised as the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Ngannou is at a crossroads with the UFC. As he has stated leading into this fight, it might be his last one in the UFC if he doesn’t get a better contract deal. He’s looking to be paid as a champion, especially one of his status as the baddest man on the planet, but he is also seeking a clause where he can have a boxing match. Ngannou has shared insults on social media with boxing’s heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. The two have repeatedly mentioned how they would fight one another to see who the real baddest man on the planet is. Of course, fighting in the UFC prevents Francis from doing such activities, but if Conor McGregor could do it against Floyd Mayweather for one of the biggest PPVs in history, why can’t Ngannou do it against Fury? But first, the champ needs to defend his title.

 

The co-main will be the third fight between two warriors looking to settle the score in this trilogy.

 

UFC 270
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

The co-main is a culmination of an excellent trilogy between two warriors who have shown they are a cut above the rest in the division, and they are looking to see who is the better of the two once and for all.

Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (19-5 11 SUBs) will look to defend his title against the man from whom he won it, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2 9 KOS 8 SUBS).

These two gladiators gave us a fight of the night performance in their first meeting at UFC 256, which ended in a draw. Moreno was able to win the rematch impressively with a submission in the third round. Now, for the third (maybe not the final time), these two will stand across the cage from one another.

Evenly matched, Moreno has a slight advantage in the grappling department while Figueiredo has his in the stand-up. However, both have shown they can give the other fits and a run for their money in both areas. Figueiredo, the former champion, is looking to come in the best shape of his life after changing his diet and training, while Moreno, a fighter who was once cut by the UFC, has come back as a champion. He is looking to defend his title and solidify himself as the king of the mountain.

These two will certainly give us a showing to remember with many flashbacks from their previous bouts. Unfortunately, if they were to meet again, it would likely come far later in their careers as this is their third match. Some matchups are just too good not to see again.

 

The UFC is back and ready to kick off 2022 with a banger as two titles are on the line. Be sure to tune in as this is the first of many great cards for the new year.

 

Be sure to check out franchisesportsmedia.com for all your latest in MMA, Las Vegas sports news, events, previews, recaps, and my weekly show, Kalani’s Corner.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Kalani on Twitter @klua11

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