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UFC 270: Ngannou vs Gane - Jan 22 🇺🇸


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The streak of big PPVs continues and it doesn’t get bigger than the Heavyweights. Back in California as well for the first time in a long time. 

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PPV MAIN CARD
Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane - Heavyweight Title

Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figueiredo - Flyweight Title

Michel Pereira vs Andre Fialho 

Cody Stamann vs Said Nurmagomedov

Michael Morales vs Trevin Giles

ESPN PRELIMS
Raoni Barcelos vs Victor Henry

Pete Rodriguez vs Jack Della Maddalena

Saimon Oliveira vs Tony Gravely

Matt Frevola vs Genaro Valdez

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Vanessa Demopoulos vs Silvana Gomez Juarez

Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Kay Hansen

 

Take no notice of the bout order, I’m going off Marcel Dorff’s listing and the official running order hasn’t been confirmed yet. I doubt this is it. I think the main card is probably about right but there’s no way they leave Oleynik vs Hardy on Fight Pass. Strong card. It’s not quite as stacked as 267, 268 or 269 for me but it’s only a shade below and I absolutely love that main event. The undercard’s full of a lot of names I’m not familiar with but to be fair they sound decent. I’m in. 

 

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Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane then. The big boys kicking 2022 off the right way. The Heavyweight division needs this. What an interesting clash of styles it should be. Not to mention the history between them. Bit of a weird route to get here but it’s all signed and official. Now we just wait and hope they both make it to the cage.

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Francis Ngannou is one of the best success stories ever in combat sports. Born in Cameroon, his family never had a pot to piss in when he was growing up. He started working at just 10 years old and carried on struggling along with no direction before dedicating himself to training in Boxing. He dabbled in his early 20s but didn’t actually start taking it seriously until he moved to Paris when he was 26. But he knew nobody in France and was penniless and homeless before finally being introduced to Fernand Lopez, who had an MMA gym. Ngannou only wanted to box initially but Lopez recognised his potential and let him sleep and train at the gym for free.

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They came a long way.

Ngannou started his MMA career in 2013 and, aside from one blip in the form of a decision loss in his second pro fight, it was going well. By December 2015 he was 5-1 with all his wins coming inside the distance, and he was making his UFC debut. With the Heavyweight pool of talent as shallow as it’s always been, and with Ngannou’s KO power, it didn’t take him long to shoot up the ranks.

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Absolute monster. In his first six fights in the UFC, he was perfect. Six wins, six finishes. And that included standout wins over Curtis Blaydes and Andrei Arlovski. In December 2017, just 2 years after his Octagon debut, he was matched up with his biggest test to date in MMA and K-1 legend Alistair Overeem. A man who once carried that same monster aura.

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Didn’t matter. Ngannou nearly beheaded him in less than 2 minutes. One of the most terrifying knockouts I’ve ever seen in about 25 years of watching fights. They had to scrape poor Overeem off the mat with a dustpan and brush. I don’t know if ‘going viral’ was a thing so much at that time but clips and gifs and memes of that KO were bloody everywhere for a while after this fight. And the hype went into overdrive. Dana White being his biggest cheerleader.

“Francis Ngannou has the world record for the most powerful punch. His punch is the equivalent to 96 horsepower, which is equal to getting hit by a Ford Escort going as fast as it can. And it’s more powerful than a 12lb sledgehammer swung full force from overhead. HOLY SHIT!” - Dana White

Of course, he was granted a title shot. Unfortunately for Ngannou though, Stipe Miocic was the champ and on the night of the fight Ngannou looked neither ready for the step up nor adequately prepared. He lasted the full 5 rounds but got utterly dominated. And his bubble got burst even more in his next fight when he went out and lost a snoozer against Derrick Lewis on points. As is always the case after a fall like that, the bandwagon swiftly emptied. All the fairweather fans who’d been swinging from his ball sack after the Overeem KO were now shitting on him. Most vocal of all being none other than Dana White. Talking about Ngannou getting the big head and believing his own hype and shite like that. Maybe there’s truth to it, I wasn’t around Ngannou, but it’s a bit rich Dana criticising a fighter for getting swept up in the hype when he was the one hyping him up more than anyone with the Ford Escort and sledgehammer waffle.

Regardless, what definitely was going on at the time was a nasty spilt behind the scenes between Ngannou and Fernand Lopez. Somewhere around the time of the loss to Stipe, Ngannou left Lopez’s MMA Factory and joined Xtreme Couture in Vegas. Lopez talked about the split later. As is most often the case, the rift centred around money.

“I said, ‘This is crazy. You spent four years of your life, for free in my gym. I never asked you for anything, a penny. And now that you’re not poor anymore…’, and I keep bringing poor guys in my gym, there’s around 40 guys homeless in my gym, poor people that I’m taking care of. I call that ‘file zero.’ When a guy shows up in my gym, I send him to my secretary and I say, ‘Give him file zero.’ Means take him to the gym for free.”

”And I said, ‘OK, you become a successful man, you have money, you pay me 10 percent. On top of the 10 percent, you ask me to pay the sparring partners with that money that you give me. On top of that, you’re saying that it will be shame to know that a big man like you is paying for the membership.’ You know how much is the membership for a year in my gym? €600. €600 per year, one year. And he said, ‘No, I will not pay.’ So, I said, ‘You know what, you don’t listen to me anymore when I’m giving the class, you choose the easy way to train, please let’s just split.’ And he did.” - Fernand Lopez 

It didn’t help that, after Ngannou lost to Stipe, Lopez shouldered a lot of the blame and caught a lot of flack for not preparing Ngannou properly. I can’t remember if Ngannou actually blamed his training or Lopez specifically but the narrative was definitely out there and I don’t remember Ngannou exactly shooting down that talk or defending Lopez either. Who knows? Two sides to every story and all that, and there was obviously some dissension in camp. Whatever the case. Lopez took the criticism hard.

“When Francis didn’t win the belt against Stipe, I got blast. Okay, people was killing me. People was just ripping me out. So we had 12 fights together. You only lost one fight by decision in France. And then after that you win every fight preparing in the MMA Factory. You never lost one fight. The two fight you lose you were in Las Vegas, you went to Paris just last minute but you were preparing for your fight in Las Vegas. And you lose those two fights.”

“All the coaches around, when we prepare the fight with Stipe Miocic, we wrote down all the gameplan, everything. The strength, the weakness, the opportunity, everything prepared and I give this to him. And my gameplan was simple. Listen: Stipe Miocic is a fucking Golden Glove in boxing. He’s a fucking NCAA wrestler. You cannot stand there and try to take his head off. The only thing you can make is to maintain the distance. If you have the range, you can manage distance. I put a lot of effort in keeping him on the feet, keep him on the footwork. Because the wrestling is the Plan B. The Plan A is to not get touched. Because no matter how hard I teach Francis wrestling, he will never be a better wrestler than Curtis Blaydes or Stipe Miocic. The first thing is how to hit the guy and not get touched. But we have Francis going against Stipe and saying, ‘No, I think I can beat this guy with one punch.’ We stopped everything and I bring him into the locker room and say, ‘Francis, is there something you don’t like about the gameplan I give you? Why don’t you do that in the mat, what’s wrong?’ He’s like, ‘I like my instinct, I believe in my power, I can beat this guy with instinct, just one punch.’ That’s how we went into the fight with Stipe. But people don’t know the reality. And when they criticized me, not once did he say, ‘Hey guys, stop saying that bullshit.’” - Fernand Lopez

It’s a shame to see how they parted ways because, as great as Ngannou’s story has been, it would’ve been even cooler if he’d done it all with the same coach who gave him the initial opportunity when he was on his arse and homeless. It’s unfortunate but they’ve both moved on and they’re doing just fine.

Ngannou got past that 2 fight slump and has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. He knocked out Curtis Blaydes in 45 seconds, Cain Velasquez in 26 seconds, Junior Dos Santos in 1:11 and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. I mean, fuck me! People can talk about weathering storms all they like but to bulldoze through that lot in a combined 2:42 is something else.

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The rematch was on. Miocic vs Ngannou 2 went down at UFC 260 in March. I think pretty much everyone was thinking along the same lines going in. No doubt Ngannou’s ‘punchers chance’ was always ridiculous and a very real threat but, as incredible as those 4 quick knockouts were, the problem was we just hadn’t seen enough of him in action since the losses to Stipe and Lewis to gauge any improvement. It was all guesswork. Yeah, he’d wrecked his last 4 opponents but we already knew he had the dynamite in his hands to put anyone down. We were still none the wiser on how he’d respond if the other guy didn’t go away after the initial blast, or if he’d made any progress at all in the wrestling or conditioning-wise etc. It was a different fight altogether.

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It was clear as day that Ngannou had been putting the work in since their 2018 meeting. We still didn’t really get any answers on his cardio, it was all over early in the second round. But he was undeniably much better than the first fight. Much more patient and selective with his strikes rather than just winging bombs and hoping one lands like he was the first time. He went to the body a bit, actually threw some jabs, kicked a little bit and showed a bit of improvement in his defensive wrestling. Stipe tagged him with some good shots himself but when they started trading punches it was gonna come down to power and Ngannou wins that battle 9 times out of 10. As much as I like Stipe, it was a lovely moment seeing Ngannou with the gold.

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Watching all the time, you become desensitised to big title wins and stuff but you forget sometimes what a huge deal something like this is in other parts of the world. The scenes in Ngannou’s hometown in Cameroon were incredible to see. There are videos you can find now of people on the streets at 5am celebrating and all sorts. It’s wild. And without going all deep, it goes beyond a moment in sport for people in those situations. Ngannou came from poverty and was struggling the same way they are now, for them to see a kid from where they live reach those heights must’ve been a powerful thing.

There was a bit of talk about a possible Ngannou vs Jon Jones fight that went nowhere. But his first defence was supposed to be in August in a rematch against Derrick Lewis. Like the Stipe rematch, it would’ve been another chance to redeem himself for the poor showing the first time. Wasn’t to be though. There was a bit of confusion on a date for the fight, the UFC wanted one date, Ngannou wanted another. But there was also talk of a contract dispute and Ngannou was definitely vocal about fighter pay around that time. The UFC decided to flex their power and just create an interim belt, leaving Ngannou on the sidelines. A clear message that if Ngannou wouldn’t play ball, they’d just find someone who will. So with Derrick Lewis needing a new dance partner, a familiar face from Ngannou’s past stepped up.

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Ciryl Gane is from France and another product of Fernand Lopez’s MMA Factory. He started out as a Kickboxer and went 7-0 with 5 knockouts in that game before making the switch to MMA in 2018. In his very first MMA fight he won the Heavyweight title for the TKO promotion in Canada. At just 3-0 and only one year after his first pro MMA fight, he made his UFC debut. He had a very successful 2019. He submitted Raphael Pessoa in Uruguay, heel hooked Don’Tale Mayes in Singapore and outpointed Tanner Boser in South Korea. He seemed primed for a big year in 2020 but a combination of COVID battering the world and Gane having a bunch of opponents pull out of scheduled fights meant that his progress stalled and he never got to fight until the December. With the middle of the pack guys seemingly not wanting any, the UFC stepped Gane up probably a lot sooner than they were originally going to. He was thrown in with former champ Junior Dos Santos and passed the test in style, stopping JDS in the second round. He followed that up with clear points wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in February and Alexander Volkov in June. So with the Ngannou dispute behind the scenes, the UFC went with Lewis vs Gane for the interim strap.

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Gane just picked him apart and dismantled him. Lewis couldn’t land a glove on him, to the point he pretty much gave up even trying. I don’t take much notice of the strike stats because they’re often inaccurate, but the stat put out for this one was something like 104-8. It had to be close to that. Lewis just got nothing done and Gane just went about his business methodically chipping away at him until he folded.

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10-0 unbeaten and now the UFC interim champion. 

Gane has received a fair bit of criticism over his last few fights for his style. It’s not always the most exciting to watch but he absolutely shouldn’t change. His style, the way he moves, the combinations, the accuracy, his ability to avoid getting hit, he’s unlike anyone else in the division and he’s gonna be a bastard of a puzzle to solve. You just don’t see Heavyweights fight like that in MMA. And to think he’s only had 10 fights. He’s only been training MMA about 4 years. It’s crazy really how quickly he’s got to this point.

So yeah, this fight is fascinating. Firstly, just style-wise the fight itself, they’re both so different. Ngannou’s all power, all about the knockout. He’s clearly been working on everything but at heart he’s a KO artist and always will be. Gane’s the complete opposite. He’s all technique, volume, mixes things up and is as much about the defence as the offence. Then you add in their history. They have sparred in the past…

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They’ve both kind of played it down and said they weren’t really ‘teammates’, they just sparred a couple of times and were friendly at the gym. But Ngannou says the media has made more of their history than it really was. The real history is between Ngannou and Fernand Lopez though. And Lopez will be in Gane’s corner for this one.

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He doesn’t seem to hold any ill will for Ngannou now though and it’s all professional.

“It’s not a personal thing. Since day one, Ciryl has been prepared for this, for this fight, at some point. My disagreement with Francis Ngannou should not be a legacy for Ciryl Gane. I don’t need any revenge. They weren’t friends, but there was respect. They are gentlemen and they respect each other, Francis has never been bad with Ciryl at any point. They had very good sessions sparring with no problems. I’m not in the equation. They are people doing the business and this is the good part about Ciryl. Ciryl doesn’t need to be mad in order to be mean in the fight. He can be very mean. Being a gentleman outside the ring, but being very mean in the Octagon.” - Fernand Lopez 

Can’t wait to see how this goes. Ngannou is a killer and I don’t care who you are, if his fist connects clean on your chin, you’re in a world of shit. The human skull just wasn’t designed for that kind of trauma. But we’ve never seen Ngannou against anyone like Gane and that’s because I don’t think we’ve ever had a Heavyweight in MMA like Gane before. I can’t think of another HW who’s been so elusive and technically sound, especially just 10 fights into his career. It’s scary to think just how good he can become. Got a feeling this could be a very frustrating night for Ngannou but the beauty of it is, with Ngannou more than any other guy in the division, it only takes one. And for all the talk of ‘puncher’s chances’, Ngannou’s put too many top level guys to sleep for it to be chalked up as luck. It’s not technically pretty but it’s effective and he’s really fucking good at making that ‘puncher’s chance’ pay off. It’s not coincidence or luck when it keeps happening. Gane’s gonna be harder to hit than anyone Ngannou’s faced before though. Brilliant fight, nice little backstory, plus there’s the element of a possible Heavyweight Jon Jones against one or both of them in 2022. Well, if he’s not in jail or dead before we get there.

 

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Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figueiredo 3. I’m a huge fan of these two and they’re both so exciting to watch so this’ll probably sound weird but I’m actually not a big fan of this. Not yet anyway. Just never been on board with this rematch fetish the UFC seem to have. Don’t get me wrong, the first fight was fucking amazing. Figgy was the defending champ and Moreno pushed him to the limit in a 5 round war. If it wasn’t the FOTY in 2020 it was very, very close. And it ended in a draw so a rematch in that case was definitely logical. They had the rematch in June and…

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It was a beautiful moment. He put in the best performance of his career and pulled off the submission in the third round. Like the Charles Oliveira and Glover Teixeira title wins, it was such a feel-good moment and one I never expected to see. 2021 really has been the year of the likeable underdogs. He was the lowest seed on TUF years ago, lost on TUF, got sacked by the UFC in 2018 and had to rebuild, and he comes back and becomes the first ever Mexican born UFC champion.

But…there was no controversy. Zero. It was as clean and decisive a win as it gets. So why another immediate rematch? I said after the first fight I’d happily watch a trilogy between these two, or even a 4 fight series with the first fight being a draw. I’m down for that. I just don’t know what the rush is? By the time these two step into the cage here, they’ll have fought each other 3 times in just over a year. That’s ridiculous. In fairness to the UFC though, maybe this wasn’t the number one choice. I’d have gone with Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja myself. Pantoja has earned it and he’s already beat Moreno twice (once on TUF), maybe he was gonna get the shot but apparently he’s injured. My other choice would’ve been Askar Askarov. Him and Moreno fought to a draw in a tremendous fight on one of the Mexico cards a few years back and Askarov is still undefeated and coming off a win over Joseph Benavidez. But I think Askarov’s hurt as well. So yeah, not ideal. I don’t mean to be negative on this fight. After all, it’s Moreno vs Figgy 3! Hard to grumble any time I’m gonna be seeing these two throw down again. It just feels like they’re milking the series too much, too soon though. Similar feeling to when they did Namajunas vs Zhang 2 recently. Great fight but the timing of the rematch made it feel unnecessary and less interesting. I’d rather have seen them both against someone else first but maybe Figgy isn’t planning on staying at Flyweight much longer anyway. I seem to recall he struggled making weight for the last Moreno fight. If he’s thinking of moving up in weight soon, maybe the UFC just wanna get that one last Moreno fight in while they still can. For all I’ve said there, it should be fun. These two don’t know how to do boring and it’s that thing where Moreno will be looking to cement himself with another win over Figgy. And Fig will be hell bent on redeeming himself. If Figgy wins this, they’ll be 1-1-1 so then we’ll probably go straight into a fourth fight. They might as well just get married at that point!

 

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Michel Pereira vs Andre Fialho is a last minute addition. Of course, Pereira was all set to face Muslim Salikhov on the Kattar vs Chikadze card but Salikhov dropped out. On a week’s notice, you weren’t gonna get an established name stepping in. It was always gonna be a DWCS guy or a complete newcomer looking to get their foot in the door. And right enough, in steps Fialho. Don’t think I’ve seen him fight but he sounds like a solid replacement, in fairness. He’s 27 years old, from Portugal, and has a record of 14-3 with 12 finishes. Most notably, a vicious knockout over ex UFC fighter James Vick last year on a smaller show, which was Vick’s last fight and there’s been no sign of a return. Fialho’s bounced around as well. He’s fought in Bellator, WSOF/PFL, LFA and UAE Warriors. Pereira’s a unique test for anyone though. You never really know how his fights are gonna play out. He’s got such a weird and unpredictable style that you just never know how it’s gonna gel with the opponent. I loved his last fight against Niko Price though, and he is on a nice little 3 fight winning streak now. Glad they were able to keep him on this card. And I actually think it might serve Fialho well not having a full camp in an odd way. As long as he’s in shape cardio-wise that is. Because it’s not like you can really mimic Pereira in camp anyway and I think opponents in the past have probably overthought how they’ll tackle him and been bamboozled before the opening bell as a result. This guy’s just rocking up to do his thing.

 

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Cody Stamann vs Said Nurmagomedov is currently set to open up the PPV. This might well be the sleeper on the card now I think about it. We say it all the time but Bantamweight really has become such a brilliant division. When you see fights like this so far below the title picture it really hits home. So much depth and quality at 135 it’s insane. Stamann’s a good fighter but he’s struggling a bit at the moment, he’s gone 2-3-1 in his last 6. But then you look at the 3 losses - Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera and Merab Dvalishvili. Again, just speaks to the strength of the division. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll never be a contender but he’s better than his recent win/loss ratio would suggest. Nurmagomedov is looking like trouble if he can stay active. Absolutely wrecked Mark Striegl with rapid fire ground and pound in his last fight. That was October 2020 though and he’s been on the bench since. He was supposed to fight Jack Shore recently but pulled out. Hopefully he’ll get a few fights in in 2022. He’s 14-2 now and his only losses are to Raoni Barcelos (who’s a beast) and Magomed Bibulatov (former UFC fighter, now ACA 135lbs champ) so no shame there. I like what we’ve seen so far. Just need to see more of him.

 

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Michael Morales vs Trevin Giles. Another newcomer from DWCS. There’s a few of them on this card. Morales sounds legit though. He’s from Ecuador, only 21 years old and he’s a perfect 12-0 with 10 finishes already. Six finishes in the first round. Dana’s already got the horn for him…

“I see signs of possible greatness in this kid. He is 22, what the hell is this kid gonna look like at 27? You know where I’m going with this. This kid is special.” - Dana White

Giles should be a good test for him. He’s 14-3, coming off a knockout loss to Dricus Du Plessis but he was on a good little streak before that with wins over James Krause, Roman Dolidze etc. He’s dropping to 170 for this one so we’ll see how he looks. You never know when a fighter changes weight class. Sometimes nothing comes of it but in some cases it can be a real game changer. Giles did manage to go 11-0 at the start of his career so he’s got something about him. It’s got my interest this one.

 

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Raoni Barcelos vs Victor Henry. OK, third crack at this. It was originally supposed to go down on the Lewis vs Daukaus card in December, then it got pushed back the Kattar vs Chikadze card in January, now it’s been moved back another week to this show. Hopefully it happens this time. I’m a fan of Barcelos but he’s had some shite luck lately with fights falling apart. He’s 16-2 now and was on a nice winning streak before dropping a decision against Timur Valiev in June. At 34 years old, it’s not like he’s got bags of time in a fast moving division like Bantamweight but I’m hoping he can put a run together now. He’s got the kind of style that could make for some fantastic fights at the top end of 135 if he can put everything together. Probably not ever gonna be champion material but there’s fun to be had with him in that mix, I think. Never seen Henry fight but looking him up he’s 21-5 with 14 finishes, he’s fought in RIZIN and Pancrase and has wins over current UFC fighter Kyler Phillips and an old favourite of mine from the Japanese scene Hideo Tokoro. Not too shabby but I’d like to see Barcelos get back on track here.

 

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Pete Rodriguez vs Jack Della Maddalena has been thrown on the card with just a week to go. Maddalena was supposed to fight Warlley Alves here but that got scrapped on Alves’ side. I was kind of thinking they’d match Maddalena up with Michel Pereira when he was left without an opponent but they’ve gone this route instead. Quite interested in seeing Maddalena’s Octagon debut. He’s Aussie, 25 years old with a record of 10-2 with 9 finishes. Lost his first couple of fights but has won 10 straight since. Pretty cool. Never heard of Rodriguez but looking him up he’s also 25 and unbeaten at 4-0, all first round knockouts. For a fight cobbled together at the last minute between two newcomers, this sounds like it has the ingredients of something fun. Both will be looking to make a statement in their debut as well so there could be fireworks.

 

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Saimon Oliveira vs Tony Gravely. Yet another new face. Never heard of Oliveira but he’s got a very respectable record of 18-3 with 16 finishes, 11 by submission. Hasn’t beat anyone I recognise but his last win was over some sod called ‘Jose Alday’. Gravely’s 21-7 and has had very mixed results in the UFC. Won some, lost some. Can’t say I recall much of it but I do remember him getting sparked by Nate Maness in September. If this Oliveira chap is anything more than a journeyman he should win this, I reckon.

 

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Matt Frevola vs Genaro Valdez. Don’t know with this. Frevola’s a guy I thought might have a bright future at one time but it just hasn’t worked out. I like him but it’s just not happening and the matchmaking hasn’t exactly been kind to him of late. He got fed to Arman Tsarukyan on about a day’s notice in January then got sat down by Terrence McKinney in June, a 7 second KO! Disaster. He could really do with a nice rebound fight now but this Valdez bloke is 10-0, all finishes. Don’t know how good he is but the UFC throwing Frevola at an undefeated Mexican finisher kind of tells you they’ve completely given up on Frevola and are trying to use him as cannon fodder here. We’ll see.

 

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Vanessa Demopoulos vs Silvana Gomez Juarez. Can’t say I have high expectations for this really but we’ll see how it goes. Demopoulos is a dismal 6-4 and lost her UFC debut in a lacklustre points defeat against JJ Aldrich in August. From what I’ve read she did have a 5 round war with Lupita Godinez in LFA in 2020, which I guess is what got both noticed by the UFC brass. Before/after…

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Might have to watch that because I’ve become a bit of a fan of Loopy and maybe I’m being harsh on Demopoulos. Vaguely remember Juarez. She’s 37 years old, 10-3 with 8 finishes and was on a little win streak before getting armbarred in a round in her UFC debut by Demopoulos’ mate Godinez in October. In fairness to both, most of their losses are women who’ve gone on to fight in the UFC. But still, they could both do with a strong showing here.

 

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Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Kay Hansen. Dunno. Jasudavicius is making her UFC debut here, after getting a win on DWCS. She’s Lithuanian-Canadian, 32 years old and has a MMA record of 6-1 with 3 finishes. That’s about all that’s out there. Hasn’t beat anyone of note yet. Hansen’s a decade younger at 22, 7-4 in MMA and lost to Cory McKenna in her last fight in November 2020. Apparently she’s been dealing with an eating disorder which is why she’s been out of action. I remember enjoying the McKenna fight and thinking it was close. She armbarred Jinh Yu Frey in her UFC debut before that as well. Maybe this’ll be a pleasant surprise.

 

And that’s 270. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Great write up Wand, the fact you don't get paid for these detailed posts and you do it for an audience of 10+ people is amazing. I don't need to go on any other MMA news site because of it.

The top 3 fights are big fights but on paper this is probably the weakest PPV we have had since crowds have come back, that's not a knock though as when it comes to the numbered shows, the UFC have been spoiling us.

I had no idea about the ins and outs between Francis and his ex coach until reading your post, it has kind of made me sour on him a little bit so come fight night I will be cheering on Gane.

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5 hours ago, Zebra Kid Mark said:

Great write up Wand, the fact you don't get paid for these detailed posts and you do it for an audience of 10+ people is amazing. I don't need to go on any other MMA news site because of it.

 

In my old age I always have Wand's threads up on my phone during UFC events to explain to me who half these fighters are and why I should care about the next fight.

The days when I knew who most of the UFC fighters were, seems a very, long time ago.

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On 11/28/2021 at 5:02 PM, wandshogun09 said:

Take no notice of the bout order, I’m going off Marcel Dorff’s listing and the official running order hasn’t been confirmed yet. I doubt this is it. I think the main card is probably about right but there’s no way they leave Oleynik vs Hardy on Fight Pass.

 

Yep.

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You knew it was coming.

The Cannonier vs Brunson fight is being moved to another card as well, according to Brunson on Twitter. 

That’s a blow to this card. The two title fights are great but this fight as third from top really gave the main card something extra. Looking at the upcoming schedule, I’m expecting it’ll headline the Feb 19th card. That one’s fast approaching and still doesn’t have a main event so it’d make sense. 

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Greg Hardy thinks he’s getting a title shot if Ngannou wins 🤣 Greg Hardy who’s also coming off back-to-back stoppage losses and has looked crap even in most of his wins against subpar opposition. 

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We haven’t really talked about it much but this situation between Francis Ngannou and the UFC adds an interesting layer to this one. There was talk recently that Ngannou wants to leave the UFC, Dana was asked about it and just basically said ‘if he doesn’t wanna be here fine’. But he’s since said they’ve had a “good talk” that went well. Fuck knows what happens. If Ngannou loses to Gane I wouldn’t be massively shocked if it leads to him parting ways with the UFC. If he wins though, he’s gonna be contractually locked in with the UFC regardless. They’re not having a champion walk away with their belt. Can’t have him rocking up in WC…sorry Bellator with the UFC strap can they? “Time honoured tradition” and all that. 

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“Francis screwed Francis”. 

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It's an absolutely amazing state of affairs when it's actually likely to be more financially lucrative for the heavyweight champion of the biggest MMA company on the planet to lose a title fight and move on than it is for him to win and remain as champion.

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I think that what we're gonna see happen. Im fancying Gane to win and Ngannou to walk. There's talk again of boxing and all sorts, and it sounds like Ngannou's team dont want to play ball with the UFC so i see him moving on. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see something like Ngannou rocking up boxing on a Jake Paul undercard.

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