UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou will attempt to defend his belt for the first time on Saturday night when he faces undefeated interim titleholder Ciryl Gane.
The heavyweight fight will headline UFC 270, which also includes a flyweight title fight and numerous UFC debuts. The event is set to mark the promotion’s return to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates on the event.
Early Prelims (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (UFC Fight Pass / ESPN+)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 11: Francis Ngannou (16-3) vs. Ciryl Gane (10-0) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)
Ngannou Uses Wrestling To Make Comeback Against Gane, Defending UFC Heavyweight Championship For The First Time
Francis Ngannou defended his UFC Heavyweight Championship for the first time on Saturday night, going five rounds against interim titleholder Ciryl Gane to win via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47 & 49-46).
The win saw Ngannou climb back on scorecards, getting his best moments late and showing his skills as a wrestler; something he has rarely done in earlier UFC fights.
Gane had control for the first and second rounds of the fight, showing a style of circling the perimeter of the cage while dipping in occasionally to land a strike.
Ngannou showed a new side of himself starting in the third round, taking Gane down twice. Ngannou didn’t do much with these positions but was able to get control time during this round.
Ngannou secured two more takedowns in the fourth round, getting Gane down from clinch positions.
Gane secured his own takedown early in the final frame, although he made a mistake later that might have cost him the round. Gane lost the position a minute later, moving to his back while looking for a leg submission. Gane was able to later attempt this submission again, although Ngannou escaped again and took top control.
Ngannou was able to keep control on top for the rest of the round, providing a strong image as the fight came to a close.
Ngannou earned the UFC Heavyweight Championship last year, dethroning long-time divisional king Stipe Miocic with a brutal second-round knockout.
After the fight, Ngannou mentioned he suffered a knee injury during his fight camp. Many assumed that something had occurred before this fight, as he competed while wearing kneepads.
Gane had a quick ascension towards a title fight, not just in the UFC but in his MMA career as a whole. He joined the UFC in 2019, then boasting an undefeated pro record of just three wins.
Gane was given an interim title fight last year after a strong start to 2021, going five rounds against both Jairzinho Rozenstruick and Alexander Volkov. He prevailed in a fight for UFC’s vacant interim belt, stopping Derrick Lewis in the third round of a fight in August 2021.
Gane entered Saturday with a record of 10 victories.
While feeling emotional about his first pro loss, Gane maintained perspective about how early he is in his career.
“I’m disappointed. I’m a little bit sad. But it’s a good experience. And I think I’ve just arrived in this game,” said Gane in his post-fight interview.
Bout 10: Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Figueiredo Avenges Loss Against Moreno, Regains UFC Flyweight Championship In Close Battle
Deiveson Figueiredo kicked off his second run as UFC Flyweight Champion in Saturday’s co-main event, avenging a loss to Brandon Moreno with a unanimous decision result (48-47, 48-47 & 48-47).
The close decision came after a back-and-forth fight that saw the momentum switch sides frequently.
Moreno had a strong start to the fight, showing his technical skills in the first and second rounds. His boxing proved to be successful, touching up Figueiredo on the feet.
The third round saw both fighters begin to light each other up with strikes. Figueiredo hurt Moreno with a left hook early in the frame, but Moreno returned only moments later with his own shot. Figueiredo dropped Moreno with a leg kick, but Moreno connected with another clean left hook shortly after.
Figueiredo finished the third round strong, flooring Moreno with an overhand right.
Moreno was able to start the final round with a clean takedown on Figueiredo. The fight hit another hectic moment later in the final round, as both fighters connected with damaging blows. A right hand in particular from Figueiredo connected hard, dropping Moreno briefly.
Figueiredo closed the final round strong, landing a series of right crosses clean on Moreno.
Figueiredo’s victory came in front of a crowd that was mostly in support of Moreno. Boos erupted in the venue after Figueiredo was crowned the champion, as many held confidence that Moreno would retain his belt.
Figueiredo has now won in one of his three appearances against Moreno.
The first meeting between the flyweights was in late 2020, where Moreno impressed many with a decision draw against Figueiredo. Moreno secured a submission win in their second meeting, submitting Figueiredo last year with a rear naked choke.
After the fight, Figueiredo felt like his rivalry with Moreno has not come to a close.
“We’re going to be doing a fourth fight,” said Figueiredo in his post-fight interview.
Bout 9: Michel Pereira (26-11) vs. Andre Fialho (14-3) (Welterweight)
Pereira Makes Adjustments, Gets Decision Nod Over Fialho
Michel Pereira kept his winning streak alive on Saturday night, defeating Andre Fialho via unanimous decision after a three-round stand-up battle (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Fialho had a good start to the fight, evading the wild striking of Pereira and getting his shots in. Pereira started to heat up in the second round, turning the fight into a brawl that he was able to do more damage in.
The pace slowed once again in the final round, and the back-and-forth nature of the frame made it the hardest to score. Pereira succeeded in the fight, landing the better shots in the round.
Pereira is now on a strong four-fight winning streak, with three of those wins coming via unanimous decision.
Fialho signed with the UFC earlier this year, stepping in on short notice to replace Muslim Salikhov at a January 15th event. The fight was later moved to UFC 270 due to COVID-19 protocols.
Fialho joined the UFC roster after attaining four finish wins in 2021.
Bout 8: Cody Stamann (19-4-1) vs. Said Nurmagomedov (14-2) (Bantamweight)
Nurmagomedov Returns, Wins In Less Than Minute
Said Nurmagomedov needed just seconds to win in his return to the cage, submitting Cody Stamann in the first round with a guillotine choke submission.
Nurmagomedov’s submission win came after he was able to hurt Stamann with strikes. He pulled guard with the choke later in the first round, causing Stamann to tap almost immediately as it hit the ground.
Nurmagomedov was making his return, appearing for the first time since October 2020. He now has four wins through five appearances since joining the promotion in 2018.
Stamann is now on a three-fight losing streak. His prior losses came against Jimmie Rivera and Merab Dvalishvili.
Bout 7: Michael Morales (12-0) vs. Trevin Giles (14-3) (Welterweight)
Morales Extends Undefeated Streak In UFC Debut, Stops Giles
Michael Morales extended his undefeated record in his UFC debut, stopping Trevin Giles in the first round with punches.
Morales was able to drop Giles with a right cross in the first round after previously hurting him with strikes. The fight was stopped moments later as Morales landed ground and pound shots to a hurt Giles.
Morales and Giles were in a firefight prior to the finish, with both getting visibly rocked at times.
The fight was Morales’ 13th win as a pro. His prior win came on the “Contender Series,” when he beat Nikolay Veretennikov via unanimous decision.
Giles was fighting to bounce back from a stoppage loss he took against Dricus Du Plessis in July 2021. He was making the move down from middleweight in this appearance.
Bout 6: Raoni Barcelos (16-2) vs. Victor Henry (21-5) (Bantamweight)
Henry Defeats Barcelos For Hard-Fought UFC Debut
Victor Henry made a big statement in his UFC debut, defeating Raoni Barcelos via unanimous decision on Saturday night (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Henry excelled in a striking battle against Barcelos, prevailing in dangerous exchanges that saw both fighters get rocked and hurt at times.
The fight held an incredibly fast pace throughout. Barcelos was able to compete at this speed early on, although Henry started to take over as fatigue set in later on.
Henry’s fast output of strikes along with his ability to consume some stikes and avoid others made him the clear winner by the end of the fight.
Henry joined the UFC roster last month, taking a bout on short notice to replace Trevin Jones. That booking was later moved to this card due to COVID-19 protocols.
Henry entered the promotion with an extensive pro record of over 25 fights. This included fights around the world and two fights in Japanese promotion RIZIN.
Barcelos was fighting to come back from his first UFC loss, which he took in June against Timur Valiev. He had a five-fight winning streak in the promotion before then.
Bout 5: Jack Della Maddalena (10-2) vs. Pete Rodriguez (4-0) (Welterweight)
Della Maddalena Stops Rodriguez For UFC Debut Win
Jack Della Maddalena had an explosive UFC debut on Saturday night, stopping Pete Rodriguez within a round with strikes.
Della Maddalena stung Rodriguez with a left cross in the opening round, causing him to back up and eventually drop to the canvas. The fight was then stopped after Della Maddalena landed two ground and pound shots.
Della Maddalena had hurt Rodriguez significantly earlier in the round, connecting with shots that caused a visible amount of bleeding on the face of Rodriguez.
Delle Maddalena joined the UFC roster last year after a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He now has a strong 11-fight winning streak as a pro.
Rodriguez took this fight on short notice, stepping in to replace Warlley Alves. He was also making his UFC debut, joining the promotion after scoring four first-round finish wins since his 2020 pro debut.
Bout 4: Tony Gravely (21-7) vs. Saimon Oliveira (18-3) (Bantamweight)
Gravely Works To Decision Win Against Oliveira
Tony Gravely returned to the win column on Saturday night, defeating Saimon Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Gravely scored numerous takedowns in the fight, getting Oliveira to the ground with ease throughout. Oliveira was frequently threatened with guillotine chokes from his back, although Gravely was able to leave all attempts before they became too damaging.
The fight put Gravely back into the win column after suffering a loss to Nate Maness in September.
Oliveira was making his UFC debut in the fight. He beat Jose Alday on the most recent episode of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” defeating him via split decision.
Bout 3: Matt Frevola (8-3-1) vs. Genaro Valdez (10-0) (Lightweight)
Frevola Drops Valdez Numerous Times, Prevails In Brawl
Matt Frevola prevailed in a brutal brawl against UFC newcomer Genaro Valdez, scoring numerous knockdowns within a round to pick up a stoppage win.
Frevola cracked Valdez just moments into the fight, knocking him down twice in the first minute. Surprisingly, Valdez was able to get up and fight back, even visibly rocking Frevola at times.
The damage continued to pile up for Valdez, as he was knocked down two more times later in the fight. Frevola continued with ground and pound against Valdez after the final knockdown, forcing the referee to eventually end the fight.
Frevola broke a two-fight losing streak with the performance. He was stopped in just seven seconds in his prior bout, getting finished by Terrance McKinney in June.
Valdez was making his UFC debut with an undefeated record of 10 wins. His most recent win was in October when he stopped Patrik White on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
Bout 2: Vanessa Demopoulos (6-4) vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez (10-3) (Strawweight)
Demopoulos Survives Knockdown, Applies Armbar For First UFC Win
What looked to be a victory for Silvana Gomez Juarez quickly switched to a submission win for Vanessa Demopoulos, as she secured a first-round armbar win on Saturday night.
Demopoulos was dropped in the first minute of the fight by a hard overhand right. Despite the knockdown, she maintained composure and worked towards an armbar while on her back. Gomez Juarez eventually tapped out to the armbar, ending the fight in the first round.
The fight on Saturday was Demopoulos’ first UFC victory. The former LFA Strawweight Champion lost her UFC debut last year, stepping in on short notice for a fight against JJ Aldrich.
Gomez Juarez was also coming off a debut loss, getting submitted with an armbar by Loopy Godinez in October.
Bout 1: Jasmine Jasudavicius (6-1) vs. Kay Hansen (7-4) (Flyweight)
Jasudavicius Uses Ground Control To Win UFC Debut
Jasmine Jasudavicius utilized her wrestling to win her UFC debut, defeating Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Control time was the name of the game for Jasudavicius. She was able to control Hansen on the ground during the first and second rounds, scoring takedowns and reversing positions on the ground to get on top.
The fight was at its closest in the final round, as the fight remained on the feet and became a striking battle. Hansen was able to utilize her boxing in the round, landing frequently against Hansen.
Jasudavicius was signed to the UFC last year after defeating Julia Polastri on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”