A pair of unique title fights kicked off the year for UFC with each delivering a bit of an unexpected storyline. Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou unified his title with a decision win over interim titleholder Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270 from Anaheim, California.
The unexpected part was that Ngannou relied on a wrestling and grappling heavy attack to get the job done over 25 grueling minutes. Ngannou, who said after the fight that he tore his MCL and injured his ACL, was unable to get much offense going early as Gane utilized his quickness to avoid many of the power shots coming his way. But the tide turned in the second round when Ngannou landed a body slam to end up in top position.
From there, Ngannou was able to secure multiple takedowns and control action on the ground through the final bell.
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In the other title fight, Deiveson Figueiredo reclaimed flyweight gold with a decision win over Brandon Moreno. In a bout that may have surpassed their thriller from December 2020, neither fighter seemed to get the upperhand for a sustained period of time. Each had an answer for the other's best strike and went back and forth over the course of 25 minutes. In the end, the Brazilian had his hand raise and called for a fourth battle with Moreno to take place in Mexico.
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UFC 270 fight card, odds, results
- Francis Ngannou (c) def. Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
- Deiveson Figueiredo def. Brandon Moreno (c) via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
- Michel Pereira def. Andre Fialho via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Said Nurmagomedov def. Cody Stamann via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Michael Morales def. Trevin Giles via first-round TKO (punches)
- Victory Henry def. Raoni Barcelos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jack Della def. Pete Rodriguez via first-round TKO (punches)
- Tony Gravely def. Saimon Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Frevola def. Genaro Valdez via first-round TKO (punches)
- Vanessa Demopoulos def. Silvana Gomez Juarez via first-round submission (armbar)
- Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC 270 countdown
- Campbell: Five biggest takeaways from the main and co-main event
- Expert picks and predictions on the main card
- Campbell: Why Gane represents the next evolution of heavyweight MMA
- Dana White tells Jon Jones to stay home for UFC 270
- Brookhouse: Three best bets to consider for the fight card
- Brookhouse: Complete breakdown of each matchup on the main card
- Mahjouri: A history of friends-turned-foes in the Octagon
- Mahjouri: Gane reacts to Ngannou's contract dispute with UFC
- Campbell: Five biggest storylines to watch in Anaheim