UFC 270 Free Plays
A preview and plus money picks for UFC 270 written by @Drtyyy_
This is the first UFC PPV of 2022 and is taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The main event features a very interesting matchup between the heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (+125) versus the interim heavyweight champion Cyril Gane (-145). The co-main is the trilogy between flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (-180) versus the man he took the belt from, Deiveson Figueiredo (+155). Besides the two championships however, this PPV is relatively weak - Dana's gonna have to go after the streamers again following this one. This card is also interesting and tricky to cap as it features five fighters from the last season of Contender Series making their UFC debut.
The main event could not have a bigger storyline. Francis Ngannou when he was still homeless in France, showed up at Fernand Lopez's gym, the MMA Factory. Lopez then trained him to become an elite fighter in the UFC and title contender versus Stipe Miocic. After Francis lost to Stipe in their first bout, tensions got higher between him and Lopez which eventually led to Francis leaving MMA Factory and moving to train in the United States. Now, Fernand Lopez is the head coach of Cyril Gane. Ngannou and Gane also sparred for about three months together prior to Francis permanently leaving MMA Factory, and videos the last couple of weeks have come out of Cyril Gane's camp showing Gane getting the better of Ngannou in one of those sessions. This triggered a response from Ngannou during fight week saying that he knocked Gane out with a head kick in sparring as well. Either way if it's true or not, there has been a lot of banter between these two fight camps - and I say fight camps because it seems that most of Francis Ngannou's beef is with Fernand Lopez and he actually has no problem with Gane. Francis Ngannou has also been arguing with the UFC about his contract, to say the least, and has showed interest in leaving the UFC to fight Tyson Fury in a boxing match. Nobody knows if he will stay in the UFC after this fight, and this could also be a huge distraction for Ngannou as every single reporter asks him about it every chance they get.
When it comes down to the actual fighting skills of these two, it's a bad matchup on paper for Francis Ngannou. Cyril Gane is extremely elusive for a heavyweight, is more technical, and more well-rounded than Ngannou. Gane has already felt the power of Ngannou from their few sparring sessions, and may know his weaknesses better since Fernand Lopez used to be his head coach. All of this being said, Francis Ngannou is the scariest power puncher we have ever seen in the UFC and being a +125 underdog I believe is massive disrespect to the champ. I still think Francis Ngannou's freakish speed and power will put Gane to sleep at some point in this fight.
So the question is - has all of this tension with Fernand Lopez on top of contract discussions with the UFC distracted Ngannou enough to throw off his game? I say no, and that none of it will matter once the fight begins. Released sparring videos between fight camps has proven to not mean shit (Garbrandt vs Dillashaw for example) and I think all of this talk will actually make Ngannou more focused and dangerous when the octagon door closes. Francis Ngannou will rise to the occasion. I am taking Ngannou here at plus money as one of my best bets. If you're looking for a little more value split the bet between his moneyline and to win by finish, which is quite safe since he has a 100% finish rate.
As for the co-main event, I am expecting the trilogy between Brandon Moreno versus Deiveson Figueiredo to be similar to their first bout. Figueiredo did not look like himself in the second bout, due to a horrible weight cut which he has known to have problems with in the past. After that loss, Figueiredo changed camps and is now working with Henry Cejudo - the former flyweight and bantamweight champ. Deveison’s weakness inside the octagon is being unable to pace his fights very well. This has mostly been justified though since he knocks nearly all of his opponents out, but proved to be a problem when he fought someone tougher like Moreno who has the Mexican toughness and does not go down easy. I believe Henry Cejudo helped Figueiredo figure out these weaknesses, which was partially already proven on the scales when Figueiredo was second to weigh in and was at 124 pounds. I think that Figueiredo and his team will come in with a better game plan, and were training to slow down his pace and bring this into the later rounds. Moreno has proven that he is extremely hard to knockout, and I think Figueiredo's team knows this and want to win by decision. Figueiredo has also only been finished once in his career in the last fight with Moreno, which like I said earlier, he was not himself that night because of a poor weight cut. The over 3.5 rounds was at -120 earlier in the week but now is juiced to -150. I still love this bet, as I don't see either one of these guys being finished. I also like Figueiredo to win this fight. I saw Figueiredo to win by decision at +600 earlier in the week at some books, but is at +400 right now on Draft Kings (shop around). If you can still find it at that price, it's not a bad bet if you like Figueiredo in this fight. If you go back and look at the first fight, Figueiredo wins on all three judges scorecards if not for the point deduction. Although the point deduction was warranted, this still shows there is a path to victory if it goes to decision for Figueiredo, especially now that he had Cejudo coaching him this camp.
The last best bet I have is Trevin Giles moneyline at -105. He is fighting Michael Morales, who is only 21 years old and fresh off of the contender series. His skills look promising for the future, but I think he is being rushed into a dogfight with a savage in Trevin Giles who may now be entering his prime. Giles is coming off of a loss, but since then moved down to welterweight and looked ripped on the scales. Previously when he fought at middleweight, it seemed like he was going against people much bigger than him and that he had more weight he could cut. Now he will have the power edge at welterweight and potentially a better chin since he looks more conditioned now.
I am usually tweeting during the fights and add a couple of plays. If you wanna follow what I am doing, give me a follow on Twitter @Drtyyy_ and I will tweet everything I do out. Hopefully you guys enjoyed and please let me know any recommendations for future articles.
Francis Ngannou +125 (1U)
Figueiredo +155 (1U)
Figuerido/Moreno Over 3.5 -150 (1U)
Giles -105 (1U)
Francis Ngannou To Win In Round 2 +650
All odds from Draft Kings Sportsbook
Good luck, Tyler (@Drtyyy_)