We’ve got a full, comprehensive breakdown of all the storylines heading into tomorrow night’s UFC 270 event along with the final face-offs.
UFC 270 goes down tomorrow night, January 22, 2022. The action kicks off at 6:15 PM ET on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, followed by the ESPN2 prelims at 8:00 PM. The main card begins at 10:00 PM ET on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
We’ve got a preview of the entire card and the storylines attached to each fight below capped off with the face-offs. And be sure to check out our staff predictions for the event right here!
Kay Hansen (7-4) vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius (6-1)
Canada’s Jasmine Jasudavicius has called herself the female GSP due to her wrestling ability and top game. Her only career loss came against the UFC’s Sijara Eubanks. You can check out some of Jasudavicius’ highlights here.
Kay Hansen’s boxing background makes this somewhat of a grappler vs. striker bout, but Hansen also has proven to have some strong takedown defense. In 2020, Hansen won performance of the night over Jinh Yu Frey at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Hooker. Hansen will be entering this fight as the -240 favorite.
You can view the face-off for this bout below.
Matt Frevola (8-3) vs. Genaro Valdez (10-0)
Matt Frevola is in need of a win here coming off back-to-back losses and he’s going to have to go through some serious heat that Genaro Valdez is known to throw in order to get it. Frevola has never shied away from a firefight, though, so fans should brace for impact in the second fight of the night.
Undefeated Genaro Valdez makes his UFC debut after earning a contract last year on Dana White’s Contender Series. Every win by Valdez was a finish, seven of the three by TKO. Frevola enters the fight at -180, with the comeback on Valdez at +160.
Check out the friendly face-offs between these competitors below.
Vanessa Demopoulos (6-4) vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez (10-3)
Vanessa Demopoulos and Silvana Gomez Juarez will also be competing on the early preliminary card. Demopoulos enters as the small favorite at -145. You can view some of her highlights here. Demopoulos lost in her UFC debut to JJ Aldrich and will now try to dance onto the victory stage in front of a pay-per-view audience.
Silvana Gomez also was unsuccessful in her UFC debut, losing to Lupita Gomez via submission. Gomez is actually 0-3 against fighters who have competed in the UFC, also losing to Poliana Botelho and Ariana Lipski in other promotions. You can view her fight against Lipski here.
Here are the face-offs between these two strawweights.
Tony Gravely (21-7) vs. Saimon Oliveira (18-3)
Kicking off the ESPN2 preliminary card is Tony Gravely facing the debuting Saimon Oliveira. Both of these fighters earned their UFC contracts through Dana White‘s Contender Series. Since arriving in the UFC, Gravely has gone 2-2. An interesting factoid about Gravely is that four of his seven career losses have come by choke (three rear-naked choke, one guillotine). Most recently, Gravely lost to Nate Maness last September.
Saimon Oliveira makes his UFC debut while on a five-fight winning streak. He earned a contract through the Contender Series last September, and you can view that full fight right here. The more experienced Gravely will enter the fight as -240 favorite, with the comeback on Oliveira at +200.
You can view the face-offs between these two bantamweights down below.
Jack Della Maddalena (10-2) vs. Pete Rodriguez (4-0)
With only four professional fights under his belt, 25-year-old Pete Rodriguez has earned himself a UFC contract. For his first task, he’ll have to deal with a man whose 10 career victories have all come consecutively and all but one of those wins being stoppages. You can check out Maddalena’s Contender Series appearance right here.
Each of Rodriguez’s four career wins came by KO/TKO, including his victory last year over Jose Luis Rios Nava, which you can view here. Maddalena is favored in this fight at -310, with the comeback on Rodriguez at +255.
Check out the face-offs between these two finishers below.
Raoni Barcelos (16-2) vs. Victor Henry (21-5)
Raoni Barcelos is very well-rounded. He can strike, wrestle, and submit. The Brazilian is coming off a majority decision loss to Timur Valiev last June but has won 9 of his last 10 fights. He is also 5-1 in the UFC, including a win over prospect Said Nurmagomedov, who will also be competing on this card. You can check out some of Barcelos’ highlights here.
Awaiting Barcelos is Victor Henry, who has won 8 of his last 9 fights. He also holds a victory over the UFC’s Kyler Phillips in another promotion. You can catch some of Henry’s career highlights right here. And here is his latest performance against Albert Morales.
Barcelos is the largest favorite on the card, listed at -430. The comeback on Victor Henry is +350.
You can peep the face-offs between these two bantamweights below.
Trevin Giles (14-3) vs. Michael Morales (12-0)
And now we move on to the main card! Kicking things off we have Trevin Giles making his welterweight debut against Michael Morales. Giles has won three of his last four fights prior to this move, but he most recently lost to Dricus Du Plessis via ground and pound last September.
Morales will be putting his undefeated record on the line in this contest. 10 of Morales’ 12 victories have been stoppage. You can relive the moment he earned his UFC contract right here.
Below, you can check out face-off of these two welterweights.
Cody Stamann (19-4) vs. Said Nurmagomedov (14-2)
UFC veteran Cody Stamann is in need of a win here after losing two consecutive fights. His last victory was an emotional one, when he defeated Brian Kelleher after the death of his brother in 2020. With a victory to kick off 2022, Stamann can show that his 2021 woes are a thing of the past as he begins to work his way back into the UFC rankings he is known to occupy throughout his career.
He’ll be going up against Said Nurmagomedov, the winner of eight of his last nine contests. Nurmagomedov will be coming into this bout as a -190 favorite, and some of these highlights help explain why.
You can check out the face-off between these two below.
Michel Pereira (26-11) vs. Andre Fialho (14-3)
Expect the unexpected in this one when showstopper Michel Pereira takes on KO artist Andre Fialho, who will be making his UFC debut in this bout. Pereira will enter the bout as a healthy -275 favorite, no doubt in large part due to him being on a three-fight winning streak. You can get a glimpse into why Pereira has developed a reputation for being one of the most unpredictable performers in the UFC by checking out some of his highlights here.
Andre Fialho will enter the bout on a four-fight winning streak. 11 of his 14 wins have come by KO/TKO, so it’s no secret what he considers to be his path to victory here. To see how Fialho looked against UFC competition in a bout against Chris Curtis in 2019, you can view that full fight right here.
You can catch the face-offs between these two welterweights below.
Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1)
It’s the trilogy to end the competitive rivalry between two of the best flyweights on planet Earth. Moreno and Figueiredo took part in an instant classic at UFC 256 in 2020, but Moreno pulled away with a huge statement win over Figueiredo when he captured the championship via third-round rear-naked choke. The stage is now set for the trilogy fight Figueiredo pleaded for and that opened up after Alexandre Pantoja was unavailable to be booked against Moreno.
As the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history, Dana White believes that Brandon Moreno is already a huge star. If that’s the case, this is not only Moreno’s first title defense but his first contest having gone from underdog to star. How far up would his star continue to rise with a win here? And how much would it dim if Figueiredo succeeds in his mission to take Moreno’s head in Anaheim, California to avenge his new mentor Henry Cejudo for Moreno’s alleged “betrayal?”
With Figueiredo having cleaned up his weight-cutting issues of the past and looking shredded and ready to roll on the scales this morning, we may see the best version of the former champion tomorrow.
For Moreno’s part, he is expecting to face a smarter version of the wilder Figueiredo fans have become accustomed to. But in the end, the “Assassin Baby” expects to kill Figueiredo’s time at flyweight and send him packing to the 135lb division.
You can check out the face-off of tomorrow’s co-main eventers below along with their closing remarks.
Francis Ngannou (16-3) vs. Ciryl Gane (10-0)
This fight is arguably the most compelling if not the flat-out best heavyweight fight of all time in terms of stylistic clash, unpredictability, and overall competitive intrigue. Both men are completely in their primes, even Gane, who somehow managed to get there only 10 fights into his professional career. This right here is a perfect example of a fight where something has got to give.
Before the two became opponents, they were once sparring partners with the same coach, Fernand Lopez. Lopez has placed himself right smack dab in the center of the pre-fight build-up, making several strong accusations and remarks towards Ngannou. One of the accusations is that if Ngannou had it his way, Gane wouldn’t have even been signed to the UFC in the first place and that the champion even advised the UFC not to bring him in. Ngannou called Lopez a “fucking liar” for making this claim.
Lopez and Ngannou have also disagreed about the sparring history between Gane and Ngannou. Ngannou believed that leaked sparring footage was made to make Gane look superior, though Lopez believed it told the true story of how the sessions went. Even Gane himself admitted that the sessions made him look good, yet he also said that he learned that he can manage Ngannou’s power through these sessions.
One of the most peculiar and unexpected moments in the build-up, however, took place when Ngannou walked right past Lopez and Gane backstage at UFC 268.
Gane shared his thoughts on this incident, stating that he felt it was wrong, given that he and Ngannou used to train together. For Ngannou, it was more of a snub of Lopez after the many comments Lopez has made in the media about him more so than anything directed at Gane. In fact, Ngannou believed the UFC staged the entire incident to help promote the fight, a theory that Gane has publicly disagreed with.
For Gane, the fact that Lopez is on his side has only boosted his confidence, seeing as how he considers Lopez to be the man “who made” Francis Ngannou. Still, the interim champion is very much aware of the challenge at hand, likening “The Predator” to the final boss of a video game. When the two meet, he says that what fans will witness is a clash that goes beyond power vs. technique but two well-rounded and elite fighters determining who is the best in the world.
As noted, Gane expects to be able to “manage” the undeniable power that Ngannou does have, a prediction that Ngannou did not take seriously at all. He would later warn Gane about trying to point-fight his way to victory because of the many risks that approach would carry. Meanwhile, he teased viewers that he will have many surprises in store for the viewing audience come tomorrow night.
Francis Ngannou has claimed that he knocked out Ciryl Gane in a sparring session. Whether that is true or not, he’ll have a chance to prove he can do it in a real fight tomorrow night. He will need to accomplish this as the underdog of the fight, a designation he believes was brought about by the UFC’s heavy promotion of Gane while underpromoting him.
This leads us to the final and arguably biggest storyline heading into tomorrow night’s megafight, which is that it could be the last fight Ngannou ever has in the UFC if he and the promotion are unable to come to terms after the event. With a loss, Ngannou will be a free agent. With a win, he could theoretically sit out until an agreeable contract has been signed. If that does not happen, he will ultimately become free to sign with another promotion.
With so many skills, storylines, and possibilities, the drama couldn’t be higher as we determine who is the baddest man on the planet tomorrow night. Below, you can check out the final face-off of the night, featuring the UFC 270 headliners, along with their closing remarks.
To view the full UFC 270 Ceremonial Weigh-in, you can do so right here. And please be sure to keep it locked on MMANews.com tomorrow for full, live coverage of UFC 270!