On Deck: Looking ahead to Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

In the main event of the first pay-per-view of 2022 on January 22 the heavyweight title is on the line as Francis Ngannou looks to defend his belt for the first time against the interim champ, Ciryl Gane.

UFC 270 Opening Odds:

Francis Ngannou -190
Ciryl Gane +165

UFC 270 Current Odds (as of Dec. 21):

Francis Ngannou -105
Ciryl Gane -115

Ngannou and Gane’s recent fights

Francis Ngannou (16-3) won the undigested UFC heavyweight title back in March in the main event of UFC 260 as he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round. Prior to that, he had a 20-second KO win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik, a 71-second TKO win over Junior dos Santos, a 26-second KO win over Cain Velasquez, and a 45-second TKO win over Curtis Blaydes to snap his two-fight losing skid after dropping a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis and a decision loss to Miocic at UFC 220 for the belt. He also holds notable wins over Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.

Ciryl Gane (10-0) won the UFC’s interim heavyweight title last time out as he scored a third-round TKO over Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. The Frenchman went 3-0 in 2020 with all three fights being main events as he also beat Alexander Volkov by decision and Jairzinho Rozenstruik by decision. Gane started his MMA career out in Canada in the promotion TKO where he won the heavyweight belt in his first fight. He defended it two times before being signed to the UFC at just 3-0. In the UFC, he also holds win over Raphael Pessoa and Don’Tale Mayes by submission, a decision victory over Tanner Boser, and a TKO win over Junior dos Santos.

Are the odds surprising?

I was surprised by the opening odds as I thought this would’ve been a pick’em to begin with as Ngannou has the one-punch KO power but Gane is the more technical striker. However, Gane still isn’t as known to the public as Ngannou as he doesn’t have the flashy KO’s and isn’t the undisputed champ which does give Ngannou some respect at the betting window.

Currently, I think the odds are right with most picks having it a pick’em or a slight lean to Gane. We have seen Ngannou lose while we haven’t see Gane lose, or get touched which makes this fight interesting. They are also former teammates which adds another layer to the fight.

How might the odds change?

Already money came in on Gane which I think was the smart play at plus-money. I do think this fight will generate two-way action the entire time as some will believe Ngannou can land the KO punch while others will think Gane can outpoint him for five rounds.

Ultimately, by the time the fight starts, I do expect this to be a pick’em but if at any point either of them get to plus-money that is when sharp money will come in on that side.

Written by Cole Shelton

Follow Cole on Twitter: @ColeShelton91



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