UFC 270 fight card primer: Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane 

    The main event of UFC 270 will feature a heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) and Ciryl Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC). UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane airs live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California this Saturday, January 22nd. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET/7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and the early prelims kicking off at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

    How do these two stack up?

    Ngannou: 35 years old | 6’4” | 83” reach

    Gane: 31 years old | 6’5” | 81” reach

    What have these two done recently?

    Ngannou: W – Stipe Miocic (KO) | W – Jairzinho Rozenstruik (KO) | W – Junior dos Santos (TKO)

    Gane: W – Derrick Lewis (TKO) | W – Alexander Volkov (DEC) | W – Jairzinho Rozenstruik (DEC)

    How did these two get here?

    We get to see what an ACTUAL fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane looks like, sparring sessions be damned! And it is perhaps the most intriguing matchup the heavyweight division has to offer right now.

    Ngannou looked like a machine when he joined the UFC several years ago. The ‘Predator’ punched his way through all but one of his opponents (he submitted Anthony Hamilton with a kimura) and soon became a ranked contender poised to challenge for the championship. He stamped his ticket to face then-champion Stipe Miocic with a violent knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 218. A year later, he fought for gold. Ngannou lost to Miocic via decision, and his attempt to rebound didn’t go much better.

    At 0-2, the Cameroon-born fighter was forced to change and reintroduce himself as a new, improved threat to the rest of the heavyweights. And he did. Ngannou finished Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velazquez, Junior dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik before earning another championship opportunity against the aforementioned Miocic. He was better prepared to deal with the game plan of the Strong Style Fight Team star and added another brutal knockout to his resume. Now, Ngannou has his first defense set up, and it is against a familiar name.

    Around the same time Ngannou 2.0 made his debut, a former teammate and training partner by the name of Ciryl Gane was drawing a lot of interest from the UFC. After going 3-0 as a professional, ‘Bon Gamin’ signed with the promotion and brought a more technical style with him, which has served him well thus far. The 31-year-old has remained unbeaten and earned wins over Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov, the latter of which propelled him into an interim title fight against Derrick Lewis. Gane dispatched of Lewis with a third-round technical knockout at UFC 265, setting up a showdown with Ngannou.

    Why should you care?

    Would it be hyperbolic to say this is one of the greatest heavyweight fights in UFC history? No, right? Well, that’s why you should care. Two of the best, in their prime, fighting on the grand stage. It doesn’t get better than that.

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