The UFC's first pay-per-view of the year sees UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou take on his toughest challenge to date in the form of top contender Cyril Gane, and, as always, we're here to provide the best betting tips.
All odds featured are available at BetMGM - which is now live in New York!
Despite rising from relative obscurity, Spanish-Georgian lightweight Ilia Topuria has demonstrated that he has enormous potential since signing with the UFC in 2020.
In his most recent Octagon appearance, Topuria defeated highly-touted grappling expert Ryan Hall, completely negating the American's unorthodox style, before establishing a dominant position and forcing the referee to intervene to win via first-round KO.
Considered one of the top prospects not yet ranked in the UFC's talent-stacked 145lb division, Topuria will look to extend his undefeated record with a win over Charles Jourdan in the prelim portion of Saturday's card.
With a 3-3-1 UFC record, Jourdan unsurprisingly enters the fight as a +500 underdog making the Canadian the largest underdog to be featured on UFC 270.
And while we're sure you probably have that hint of temptation to back the former TKO Lightweight Champion to shock the world and pick up a win, especially as part of a parlay, Topuria's class should be more than enough to see him through here, and an upset is exceedingly unlikely.
Rodolfo Vieria has had quite the strange UFC career so far. After entering the organisation in 2019 with an undefeated mixed martial arts record, the BJJ legend immediately set about establishing his dominant grappling in the Octagon, defeating Oskar Piechota and Saparbek Safarov, both by submission.
Then, after a nearly year-long layoff, Vieira returned to the UFC last year, only to gas out early in the contest and ultimately find himself on the receiving end of one of the most shocking submissions in the history of the sport, tapping to +500 underdog Anthony Hernandez's guillotine choke.
Since then Vieira has rebounded with a win over Dustin Stoltzfus in which his previously questionable cardio looked significantly improved, and he will be looking to continue his positive momentum on Saturday against UFC veteran Wellington Truman.
Although Truman possesses a black belt in BJJ and has yet to be submitted in his MMA career, he has yet to show anything inside his five-fight UFC career to suggest that he is a top 15 calibre fighter.
If Vieira is going to live up to the potential demonstrated in his grappling career, he should be able to make relatively easy work of his opponent and secure the submission win in Saturday's featured prelim bout.
Just a few short years ago the UFC's flyweight division was on the chopping block. After Demetrious Johnson's unprecedented run of dominance atop the weight class ended with his loss to Henry Cejudo in 2018, rumours circulated that the UFC was considering dropping the division as a whole.
Since then, a lot has changed.
After their first meeting ended in a closely contested majority draw, Brandon Moreno became the first Mexican-born UFC champion when he defeated Deiveson Figueiredo, dominating the action and submitting the defending champion in the third round.
Moreno's dominance in the rematch does not make this fight an easy pick, however. In the pair's second meeting, Figueiredo seemingly abandoned the somewhat reckless offence-oriented style that best utilises his physical gifts and instead was content to wait on the outside and engage with Moreno in the Mexican's favoured territory. If the Brazilian is to reclaim his crown on Saturday night, he will need to apply pressure from the outset, and prevent Moreno from settling into the rhythm in which he can be so devastating.
Despite this, the champion can only gain confidence from his success back at UFC 263, and is still developing leaps and bounds from fight to fight. As a result, especially with the line as close as it currently is, we're backing Moreno to continue his success and defend his belt on Saturday, possibly even stopping Figueiredo in the championship rounds.
In a battle between former training partners, the UFC presents the first title fight of 2022 between reigning champion Francis Ngannou, and surging contender Ciryl Gane.
In his last Octagon outing, Ngannou demonstrated some significant technical improvements, stopping then-champion Stipe Miocic's early attempts to grapple, and even scoring the first takedown of his UFC career en-route to a second-round knockout victory.
However, if Cameroonian striker is going to continue his run of dominance atop the heavyweight division he will need to successfully navigate the extremely technical striking of the challenger Cyril Gane.
Having made his MMA debut in 2018, on the back of an undefeated kickboxing career, albeit against unrecognised opposition, Gane appeared virtually out of nowhere to become one of the hottest prospects in the history of the heavyweight division. With dangerous Muay Thai skills, an underrated submission game, and sufficient cardio to go five rounds, Gane is almost unique among heavyweight fighters in both his skills and his versatility. In just his tenth professional fight, the Frenchman came good on his potential in August when he stopped Derrick Lewis late in the third round to become the UFC interim Heavyweight Champion.
When it comes to analysing the skillsets of the two fighters competing for heavyweight gold on Saturday night, it is easy to come to one of two conclusions: Either Ngannou will land one of his devastating punches to bring an early end to the contest, or, Gane will utilise his superior striking technique and conditioning to outpoint the champion to win on the judges' scorecards.
Though both eventualities are possible, Gane has the nuance and fight IQ to weather Francis' early storm, and will ultimately emerge victorious to unify the UFC's heavyweight division.
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