Art and writing by Charlie Erdman
On January 22nd, 2022, the UFC will host its first pay-per-view event of the year, UFC 270. Beginning with a stacked preliminary card of compelling prospects and rising contenders and culminating with two incredible title fights. The co-main event pins flyweight champion and fan-favorite Brandon Moreno against former flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo in a spirited trilogy bout. Mexican champ Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno has built a gigantic fanbase after he defeated Figueiredo as a significant underdog to capture UFC gold at UFC 263 in June of 2021. Deiveson “Dues de Guerra” Figueiredo, an electric finisher from Brazil, is seeking revenge and looks to spoil Moreno’s hype train by recapturing flyweight glory. Moving to the main event of the evening is the Heavyweight Championship of the world. A bout built for the ages, UFC Heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou defends his belt against undefeated Interim Heavyweight champ Ciryl Gane. This fight stands as possibly the most anticipated heavyweight title fight in UFC history. Francis and Ciryl are former teammates and each share historical feats in the octagon. Francis Ngannou, known for his ferocious knockout power, is seen by many as the most dangerous man in the world. While his opponent and French prodigy Ciryl Gane is seen as the most athletic and gifted heavyweight of all time. The action will take place this Saturday, January 22nd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Aiming to capture heavyweight gold only two years into his UFC tenure, Cyril Gane is ready to roll. After dominating heavyweight knockout king Derrick Lewis to earn the interim heavyweight belt at UFC 265, Gane is ready to challenge for the undisputed heavyweight title. In his rapid and remarkable rise to stardom, Ciryl Gane has shown supreme athleticism, movement, and skill. His performances have led mixed martial artists, coaches, journalists, and fans to proclaim Gane as the most highly touted heavyweight prospect of all time. Perhaps the most incredible feat to Gane’s success is the fact that he is less than five years into his mixed martial arts career. After only three fights into his professional career, Gane was signed by the UFC and has flourished ever since. With seven fights and seven wins under the UFC banner, Gane has displayed his well-rounded abilities by finishing two fights via ko/tko, two by submission, and three by unanimous decision. Among these well-rounded displays, Gane has beaten the likes of former champ and legend Junior Dos Santos, heavyweight linchpin Alexander Volkov, and fearsome finisher Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The most impressive feat amongst all this success is the way Gane has won these fights. Each win has come with nothing short of dominance and a mastery of skill. Undefeated and confident in his ability, Cyril Gane is a serious problem in the heavyweight division and is more than ready to challenge for the undisputed belt against current champ Francis Ngannou.
Known for his devastating knockout power, current heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou is coming off a spectacular knockout of heavyweight GOAT Stipe Miocic, in March of 2021 at UFC 260. Ngannou is widely regarded as the most dangerous man on the planet. He has earned this title for his scary and ferocious knockout power. Ngannou has fourteen knockouts out of his sixteen wins and amongst those are knockouts of mixed-martial arts Hall of Famers Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic, Junior dos Santos, and Andrei Arlovski. In addition to finishing these former champs and Hall of Famers, Ngannou has knocked out top-five ranked contenders including two knockouts of Curtis Blaydes and a recent knockout of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. However, Ngannou comes into his first title defense with his fair share of controversy. He and third ranked contender Derick Lewis were supposed to rematch at the end of 2021 for Ngannou’s first title defense. Due to contract disputes between Ngannou and the UFC, the promotion arranged an interim heavyweight championship fight in response to Ngannou’s disruptive negotiations. The interim title fight took place at UFC 265 where Gane dominated Lewis and finished him in the third round via TKO (technical knockout). This set up interim champ Ciryl Gane and undisputed champ Francis Ngannou in a massive heavyweight unification bout. As former teammates for many years at the MMA Factory in Paris, France, both men are familiar with each other. Due to a tough relationship with head coach Fernand Lopez, Ngannou departed Paris and moved to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Home to some of the best fighters and coaches in the mma industry, Ngannou displayed improved skills when he captured the heavyweight title at UFC 260 with his new team. Looking to demonstrate more new tools and talents, Ngannou is ready for his first title defense of the UFC Heavyweight strap, this Saturday, January 22nd at UFC 270.
Before the heavyweights throw down at UFC 270, we are gifted with the trilogy fight between current flyweight champ Brandon Moreno and former flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo. Their first fight earned Fight of the Year honors in 2020, the drag-out war ultimately ended in a draw. This result was a surprise to many after Figueiredo had run through the flyweight division with ease. Moreno showed up for their second title fight with a new sense of confidence and accomplishment after his remarkable performance in their first fight. The second fight which still held Figueiredo as a substantial favorite turned into an absolute shocker. After three rounds of pure domination, Brandon Moreno had taken Figueiredo’s back and submitted him via rear-naked choke. This result was staggering and stood as a remarkable story of an underdog beating the odds. Only two years prior, Moreno had been cut from the UFC. Thanks to his grit and determination, he earned his way back into the UFC and went on a roll with brilliant performances against the best flyweight contenders in the world. Beating the likes of Kai Kara-France, Brandon Royval, and Jussier Formiga. After his amazing win, Moreno was overflowing with emotion and over the moon with joy. In his post-fight interview, he cried “This moment is so amazing… VIVA MEXICO!!”. The crowd went absolutely bananas for him. He was now officially a mixed martial arts superstar! Moreno currently stands as a solid favorite for the trilogy bout against Figueiredo. In what looks to be an incredible night for the combat sports world, don’t be surprised if Moreno and Figueiredo put on another outstanding show and take home fight of the night honors at UFC 270.
Credits: The Ultimate Fighting Championship