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    Preview: UFC 270 Prelims – Topuria vs. Jourdain




    Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 270
    live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device
    via the ESPN app.
    The
    Ultimate Fighting Championship
    ’s first pay-per-view of 2022
    provides an intriguing undercard, even if some late changes leave
    UFC
    270
    nowhere near as deep as the usual numbered event. The
    featured prelim on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim,
    California, pits top featherweight prospect Ilia
    Topuria
    against the reliably exciting Charles
    Jourdain
    and represents the clear highlight of the bunch in
    terms of both stakes and excitement. Beyond that, this figures to
    be a banger of a show since nearly every match offers a high
    potential for entertainment. The lineup centers on
    Dana White’s Contender Series
    graduates and prospects looking
    to carve out a niche in their respective divisions rather than any
    sort of immediate relevance.

    Now to the preview for the UFC 270 “Ngannou vs. Gane” prelims:

    Featherweights

    NR | Ilia
    Topuria
    (11-0, 3-0 UFC) vs. NR | Charles
    Jourdain
    (12-4-1, 3-3-1 UFC)

    ODDS: Topuria (-510), Jourdain (+375)

    Topuria in just three UFC appearances has established himself as
    one of the top prospects in the promotion regardless of weight
    class. “El Matador” came to the UFC in 2020 with some powerful but
    straightforward striking to back up an impressive ground game—a
    package that worked to great effect to win his late-notice debut
    over Youssef
    Zalal
    . Less than two months later, Topuria stepped in for a
    fight against Damon
    Jackson
    and showed that he might be much more ready for
    contention than anyone figured, taking apart a tough veteran with
    some varied striking, as he worked in some brutal shots to the body
    on his way to a sub-three-minute knockout. In Topuria’s lone bout
    of 2021, he passed the tough IQ test that is Ryan Hall,
    balancing offensive effectiveness with staying out of trouble and
    scoring another first-round finish. Turning 25 years old just days
    before the event, Topuria looks poised for a run up the ladder in a
    deep featherweight division. Initially paired with Movsar
    Evloev
    in a matchup of uber-prospects, Topuria still gets a
    tough test against Jourdain. Still young in his own right, “Air”
    Jourdain came to the UFC in 2019 after establishing himself as one
    of the top prospects in his native Canada. Very much an
    unstructured fighter who got by on big moments of offense, Jourdain
    has had to adjust his approach to become a more consistent fighter
    against better competition, and while there have been some rough
    patches, things are coming together quite nicely. While his moment
    was slowed a bit with a September loss to Julian
    Erosa
    , Jourdain’s victory over Andre Ewell
    in December showed a lot of the positives of his evolution. He is a
    slow starter, but by the end of the fight, he was dominating every
    phase and doing everything short of scoring a finish. Jourdain’s
    combination of well-roundedness and durability serves as a strong
    benchmark for Topuria. While the Canadian could make things tricky
    down the stretch, Topuria’s combination of focus and offensive
    potency against Jourdain’s slow starts should lead the Spaniard to
    an early lead. Jourdain has yet to be finished, but the bet is that
    Topuria can pour on enough damage to convince the referee to step
    in at some point. The pick is Topuria via second-round
    stoppage.

    Continue Reading »
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