The first UFC pay-per-view of the year takes place Saturday in California with a pair of intriguing title fights atop the card.
UFC 270 takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)
In the main event, heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) takes on undefeated interim champ Ciryl Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), his former teammate and training partner. Gane is a mild -155 favorite at Tipico; the comeback on Ngannou is +120. Our 12 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers are backing Gane at just a 7-5 clip.
In the co-feature, flyweight champ Brandon Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) puts his title on the line for the first time against former champ Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) in a trilogy bout. It’s the third straight time the two will meet. Moreno is a -180 favorite and has a big 9-3 lead in the picks.
Also on the main card, UFC newcomer Andre Fialho (14-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Michel Pereira (26-11 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at welterweight. Pereira is the biggest favorite on the main card at -290 and is a near-unanimous pick at 11-1.
Said Nurmagomedov (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is more than a 2-1 favorite at bantamweight against Cody Stamann (19-4-1 MMA, 5-3-1 UFC), and he’s got a big 9-3 lead from our staff members.
And to open the main card, Trevin Giles (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) takes on unbeaten promotional newcomer Michael Morales (12-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at welterweight. Morales is just a small favorite at -125, and he’s got a narrow 7-5 edge in the picks.
In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Gane (50.1 percent), Moreno (67 percent), Pereira (84 percent), Nurmagomedov (80 percent) and Morales (61 percent) are the choices.
Check out all the picks above.