Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane preview and prediction

    UFC 270: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane preview and prediction for the UFC 270 main event.

    UFC 270 goes down on Jan. 22, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The event is headlined by a UFC heavyweight unification title fight between current champion Francis Ngannou, as he takes on former MMA Factory teammate, and current UFC interim heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane.

    Gane is coming off the biggest win of his career, after defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 by way of third round TKO, and claiming the UFC interim heavyweight championship by doing so.

    As for Ngannou, the champion is ten months removed from winning the UFC heavyweight championship in his rematch against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Ngannou finished Miocic by knock-out, just under a minute into the second round of their meeting in March of 2021.

    With the win, Ngannou became the firstย Cameroon-born UFC champion, and the third African-born UFC champion, along with Kamaru Usman, and Israel Adesanya.

    UFC 270: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane preview

    Ngannou is 11-2 since making his UFC back in 2015, with all eleven wins coming by way of stoppage. Ngannouโ€™s only two losses in his UFC career have come by way of decision, which were in back-to-back fights against Miocic and Lewis.

    For Gane, the French-born heavyweight champion is undefeated as an MMA fighter, and holds a 7-0 record since making his UFC debut back in 2019. Gane holds four wins by stoppage, his most recent being the most impressive one at UFC 265 to win the UFC interim championship.

    However, more importantly, Gane has three wins by way of decision, with two of them being main event, five round fights, against Jairizinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov respectfully.

    Sportsbooks such as WynnBet opened with the bout as a relative pickโ€™em, with Gane shaded as the slight -115 betting favorite. However, in the lead-up of fight week, Gane has slowly inched his way into becoming a stronger favorite, closing in on the -150 range.

    Whether or not a wave of money comes in on Ngannou remains to be seen. However, with this bout being on a somewhat lower profile pay-per-view, the betting handle for this fight may be smaller than expected.

    The difference in this match-up between two very hard hitting heavyweight is going to come down to mobility. If Gane is able to stay mobile, and evade the dangerous exchanges with Ngannou early on in the fight, he should be able to stay at range, manage his risk, and point fight his way to a unanimous decision.

    However, if Ngannou is able to stay mobile, and not get flat footed too early. He might be able to catch Gane in a vulnerable position in the mid-way point of the fight, somewhere between the third or fourth round.

    Should Gane keep the fight at kickboxing range, and not get into a slug-fest with the hardest hitting heavyweight in UFC history, he should be able to walk through the fire and become the unified UFC heavyweight champion, through a grueling five round decision.

    Prediction: Gane by Decision

    UFC 270 takes place on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on-site, for all your news and highlights.

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