Two titles are on the line at UFC 270 this Saturday in Anaheim, Calif.
UFC's 2022 PPV slate kicks off with Heavyweight champion and knockout artist Francis Ngannou returning from a nearly 10-month layoff to defend his title for the first time against his former sparring partner and interim champion Ciryl Gane.
The Flyweight division will feature the trilogy bout between champion Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno will also be defending his title for the first time against an opponent he has gotten to know pretty well.
We asked our experts to give us their best bets from this stacked card.
DATE: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022
VENUE: Honda Center
LOCATION: Anaheim, Calif.
TIME: 6 p.m. ET prelims; 10 p.m. ET main card
SI Video's Doug Vazquez:
While all eyes will most likely be on the heavyweight clash between Ngannou and Gane, I am equally excited for the Moreno-Figueiredo trilogy fight. These guys have gotten to know each other pretty well and it will be the first time in UFC history that two fighters face each other in three consecutive fights. After fighting to a draw in the first fight, Moreno found his stride in the second bout and submitted Figs in the third round after applying constant pressure leading up to the choke out. Figueiredo really should be fighting in the bantamweight division (which is most likely coming regardless of the outcome in this fight), as I think he really struggles to cut the weight to get down to 125 lbs. and he isn’t getting any younger (34), which makes the cuts harder. As far as bets go, I am going with the champ here as I think the pressure he applies will again be too much for Figs, and I don’t see this fight going the distance. I will be taking the ML here at a reasonable price of -175 and am going to sprinkle a unit on him finishing Moreno in the 3rd round again at +900.
BEST BETS: Moreno (-175); Moreno round 3 (+900)
SI's Senior Host Robin Lundberg:
My best bet would actually be Moreno over Figueiredo, considering how the former has performed of late and the way their last fight went. However, I did want to make a pick on the main event as well...because, let's be honest, that's the selling point of this card. So, give me Ngannou. I'm tempted to go with Gane given it seems bookmakers are begging the public to bet Francis and the challenger's technique is superb. And while I generally go with skill, Ngannou's combination of speed and power combined with his overall improvements make it hard to believe Gane will avoid taking some of those record-breaking shots.
BEST BETS: Moreno (-175), Ngannou (+125)
SI MMA and Wrestling's Justin Barrasso:
Francis Ngannou, the reigning heavyweight champion, enters his first title defense at UFC 270 as the underdog. This would not be shocking if he were fighting Jon Jones. Maybe an even-line would emerge in a trilogy bout against Stipe Miocic (though I think Ngannou would be the favorite), but to see Ciryl Gane enter as the favorite to win at 270 is stunning. Ngannou is the best heavyweight in the world and he still has more to prove. In addition to fighting Gane, he is also fighting for his next contract. All the leverage in the world will belong to Ngannou with a victory, which is how I see this fight playing out.
BEST BET: Ngannou (+125)
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