UFC 270 Takeaways: Figueiredo came up big for bettors
The heavyweight champion emerged, a trilogy concluded, and the underdogs cashed out big. With the first major UFC card in the books, the aftershocks reach far beyond the confines of the octagon. Here’s what we learned from UFC 270.
Francis Ngannou: Here today, gone tomorrow?
Ngannou had to overcome the odds, Ciryl Gane, and a nagging knee injury that threatened the bout to put on the performance of his career.
Many thought Ngannou would have to rely on his striking to somehow offset the technical superiority of Gane, and it sure was looking that way until Ngannou threw a huge curveball and starting taking Gane down at will. After the third round, Gane was never in the fight and was handed the first loss of his career.
"I tore my MCL completely...wanted to call off this fight...it was a moment for me to make a statement."— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 23, 2022
After all it took to get here, 🏆 @Francis_Ngannou wasn't about to be denied now. #UFC270 pic.twitter.com/hoIeQs8i2m
The fact that Ngannou got the win with a torn MCL makes his gutsy performance all the more satisfying. As for Ngannou, though, he’s made it clear he will not fight again under the terms of his now lapsed contract, and the real drama begins between the UFC and its heavyweight champion.
Dana White’s pettiness knows no bounds
One thing noticeably absent during UFC 270’s main event was White presenting Ngannou with the title. Those honors were presented instead by Mick Maynard ,as White contemptuously watched from the audience.
Francis Ngannou was asked why Dana White didn't put the title on him.#UFC270 pic.twitter.com/rnPtrRkUJk— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 23, 2022
Things have been rocky between Ngannou and the UFC, especially as Ngannou has been vocal about how little the UFC compensates its competitors and his increasing interest in pursuing a boxing match with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. White, who loves being the center of attention, didn’t even both attending the post-fight press conference to discuss the card.
Unable to swallow his pride, White made it clear that the UFC won’t stand with a fighter who openly challenges the status quo, making Ngannou look all the more right for speaking up.
Jon Jones teases a heavyweight comeback
In the moments after UFC 270, Jones took to social media to criticize the main event and showing his hand at a long-awaited heavyweight run.
I love how everyone gets so impressed with the new guy lol— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 23, 2022
The troubled ex-light heavyweight champion has been out of the ring for two years, partially because he can’t keep himself out of trouble and also because, like Ngannou, he demanded higher than normal pay to move up to heavyweight. Both Jones and Ngannou have seemed destined for a clash at heavyweight, but between their mutual desires for adequate pay, Ngannou’s boxing aspirations, and Jones’ inability to keep his head straight, this one might not happen anytime soon. Even so, Ngannou vs. Jones is easily the biggest fight the UFC can make at this point.
Underdogs stood tall in Anaheim
Not only did Ngannou emerge victorious as a +125 underdog, but Deiveson Figueiredo also came up big for bettors in outlasting Brandon Moreno in the co-main event.
SIGN US UP FOR FIGHT NO. 4⃣!!! ✍️— TwinSpires Sportsbook 💵 (@TS_Sportsbook) January 23, 2022
Deiveson Figueiredo defeats Brandon Moreno in the trilogy match to reclaim the flyweight title!
Figueiredo +150 💵
Fight to go the distance +125 💵#UFC270 pic.twitter.com/Jd2nz6tdmh
On the undercard, Victor Henry made his UFC debut against Raoni Barcelos and came away with the biggest upset of the night. Jasmine Jasudavicius also pulled out an upset victory by outworking Kay Hansen.
Michel Pereira will become a welterweight staple
While he had a tough opening round against Andre Fialho, Pereira turned things around quickly and put on a chaotic performance to score a decision. Pereira is so unorthodox to the point where he seems practically random, but his high octane style is a crowd pleaser, and he is not a gimmicky fighter. There is a method behind the madness, as evident in the repeated hard shots Pereira landed on the back end of the fight.
Another epic battle on #UFC270! 🥊— TwinSpires Sportsbook 💵 (@TS_Sportsbook) January 23, 2022
Michel Pereira outdueled Andre Fialho by unanimous decision.
Pereira -278 💵
Fight to go the distance (+130) 💵pic.twitter.com/y54UWlEUCf
At 28 and a winner of his last four fights, Pereira is a fighter that will be in high demand after his win, and he’s in a welterweight division as deep as the Mariana Trench for him to prove his mettle.