Friday, May 27, 2022

UFC 270 fight card, odds: Things to know about each bout on the main card from Anaheim

The UFC pay-per-view schedule kicks off on Saturday when UFC 270 goes down from Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In the main event, heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou battles interim champion Ciryl Gane in a unification bout.

While the titanic heavyweight clash is a headline-grabber, the co-main event is every bit as good as flyweight champion Brandon Moreno defends his title against former champ Deiveson Figueiredo in a trilogy fight. Moreno and Figueiredo battled to a draw in their first meeting before Moreno won the championship in their rematch.

Clearly, it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of a big event. So we’re here to help give you a concise outlook of what to expect and what to know for every main card fight. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect on Saturday.

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Main card

Said Nurmagomedov vs. Cody Stamann, Bantamweight

  • Odds: Nurmagomedov -190, Stamann +160 | Last three results: Nurmagomedov – W,L,W | Stamann – L,L,W
  • Nurmagomedov: Looking to establish a winning streak two fights after suffering his first UFC loss
  • Stamann: On a 2-3-1 skid after starting his UFC career with three consecutive victories

Stamann (19-4-1) has had an odd run in the UFC. He started his Octagon career with three straight victories, though two of those came via split decision. Against eventual bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, Stamann was submitted with a rare Suloev stretch submission. That set off a run where Stamann has gone 2-3-1, including back-to-back losses in his most recent fights, leaving him in need of a win at UFC 270. Nurmagomedov (14-2) has gone 3-1 in the Octagon, suffering his first UFC loss two fights ago. He rebounded from that loss with an impressive knockout of Mark Striegl in October to get back in the win column. Those kinds of finishes are rare for Nurmagomedov, who has seen the scorecards more often than not in his career. Seven of Nurmagomedov’s 10 most recent fights have gone to decision. Similarly, eight of Stamann’s previous 10 have gone to decision.

Wellington Turman vs. Rodolfo Vieira, Middleweight

  • Odds: Vieira -240, Turman +200 | Last three results: Vieira – W,L,W | Turman – W,L,L
  • Vieira: A high-level finisher who has never seen the scorecards
  • Turman: Looking for his first back-to-back wins in the UFC

Vieira (8-1) is the rare fighter who has never had a fight go to decision. He has seven submission wins and one by knockout. In Vieira’s lone loss, he was submitted by Anthony Hernandez at UFC 258. Vieira has made the walk to the Octagon four times in his career, with the Hernandez loss the only time he did not end up with his hand raised. Turman (17-5) has not had the same level of success as Vieira, having suffered losses in three of his five UFC bouts. In his most recent fight, Turman picked up a split decision win over veteran Sam Alvey, snapping a two-fight losing skid and possibly saving himself from being cut from the promotion.

Michel Pereira vs. Andre Fialho, Welterweight

  • Odds: Pereira -280, Fialho +230 | Last three results: Pereira – W,W,W | Fialho – W,W,W
  • Pereira: One of the sport’s flashiest and most creative strikers
  • Fialho: A Bellator and PFL veteran making his UFC debut

Pereira (26-11) is a fighter unlike any other in the UFC, willing to throw any and every strike, including backflips. His wild style has come back to bite him in the past, such as when he ran out of gas against unheralded late replacement Tristan Connelly and dropped a unanimous decision. The loss to Connelly was followed up with a disqualification loss to Diego Sanchez. Since those two losses, Pereira has gotten back on track with a three-fight winning streak, though his cardio has continued to be a question. Fialho (14-3) has fought on large stages in the past, with seven combined fights in Bellator and PFL. Like Pereira, Fialho is a striker, with 11 knockouts in his 14 career victories. A four-fight winning streak on the regional scene landed Fialho the biggest opportunity of his career, a fight on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view.

Brandon Moreno (c) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo, Flyweight title

  • Odds: Moreno -175, Figueiredo +150 | Last three results: Moreno – W,D,W | Figueiredo – L,D,W
  • Moreno: The first Mexican-born champion in UFC history looking to make his first title defense
  • Figueiredo: The former dominant champion looking to regain his crown

In June 2021, Moreno (19-5-2) put on the performance of his life, dominating Figueiredo (20-2-1) to become UFC flyweight champion. The fight was a rematch of their December 2020 clash, which was a thrilling battle that ended in a draw, in large part due to Figueiredo having a point deducted for low blows. The rematch saw Moreno dominate on the feet before scoring a third-round, rear-naked choke to become the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history. Before running into Moreno, it appeared Figueiredo was set to be a long-term dominant champion, having twice dominated Joseph Benavidez, the second fight earning him the title, and making quick work of Alex Perez. He’ll now be looking to prove Moreno’s dominance in their rematch was a one-night fluke.

Francis Ngannou (c) vs. Ciryl Gane (ic), Heavyweight title

  • Odds: Gane -155, Ngannou +130 | Last three results: Ngannou – W,W,W | Gane – W,W,W
  • Ngannou: Possibly the biggest knockout striker in heavyweight history and the defending champion
  • Gane: The undefeated interim champion with a striking style that’s yet to be cracked

While much of the lead-up to UFC 270 has centered on Ngannou’s contractual status with the UFC, the actual fight between Ngannou (16-3) and Gane (10-0) is as compelling a fight as could be made in the division. Ngannou is as elite as they come as a finisher, with all 16 of his wins coming by knockout and 12 of those coming in the first round. While he suffered back-to-back losses in 2018, losing a title fight to Stipe Miocic and a bizarrely tepid fight against fellow knockout artist Derrick Lewis, he has since rattled off five straight wins, including a brutal knockout of Miocic to capture the title.

Gane, meanwhile, has never tasted defeat in his professional mixed martial arts career, beginning by winning the TKO heavyweight title in his first pro bout. In the UFC, Gane’s timing and footwork has posed a problem that has simply been too much for any man with whom he has shared the Octagon. In August, Gane dominated Lewis to score a third-round TKO and win the interim championship. He now moves into the biggest fight of his career in a battle of raw power and slick technique.

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