UFC 270 Ngannou vs Gane Picks: Champ Retains via Powerful KO

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is the underdog against interim title-holder Ciryl Gane. Gane's technical precision may give him a slight edge on paper, but we expect Ngannou's power to be the trump card as he wins by KO in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2022 5:39 PM ET Read Time: 5 min

Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane is the main event for UFC 270 betting on January 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

This is a highly anticipated matchup that sees the heavyweight champion Ngannou make his first title defense against Gane, who claimed the interim belt last August. Oddsmakers are expecting a very close fight with UFC betting lines opening with this fight as a pick'em before shifting to favor Gane at -150. 

Here are our best free UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane picks and predictions for Saturday, January 22.

Ngannou vs Gane fight odds

Live odds courtesy of the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Ngannou vs Gane method of victory odds

Method of Victory Francis Ngannou Ciryl Gane
To win by KO/TKO +140 +230
To win by Points +1,300 +360
To win by Submission +2,600 +750
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of January 16, 2021.

Ngannou vs Gane picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Ngannou vs Gane betting preview

When we last saw Francis "The Predator" Ngannou in the octagon, he knocked out Stipe Miocic in the second round to claim the heavyweight championship last March. It was an impressive performance from Ngannou, who showed improvement from his previous decision loss to Miocic three years before.

In the first matchup between the two, Miocic controlled the fight with dominant wrestling. However, last year Ngannou stuffed his takedown attempt, landed a takedown of his own, and outstruck him in the opening round before finishing him in the second. 

The Predator has now racked up five straight wins by way of knockout. The 35-year-old is the hardest hitter in the UFC and has gone 11-2 in the octagon with first-round finishes against big names like Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Alistair Overeem. 

Ciryl "Bon Gamin" Gane is fresh off a victory against Derrick Lewis in August where he had a 98-16 edge in significant strikes and overwhelmed Lewis with a flurry of punches in the third round. The Frenchman is now a perfect 10-0 in his MMA career, including 7-0 in the UFC.

The 31-year-old is a physical specimen who looks and moves like an NFL edge rusher. Not just a fantastic athlete, Gane is an elite technical striker who excelled in kickboxing and Muay Thai before entering MMA. He lands 5.37 significant strikes per minute while absorbing just 2.40 and also boasts impressive grappling skills with three wins by submission. 

Ngannou vs Gane tale of the tape

Francis Ngannou   Ciryl Gane
35 Age 31
6-foot-4 Height 6-foot-4
263 lbs Weight 247 lbs
83 inches Reach 81 inches
16-3-0 (12 KO) Record 10-0-0 (4 KO)

Ngannou vs Gane UFC prediction and best bet

Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.

This is an intriguing matchup because not only is it a clash between opposing styles (Ngannou's strength and power against Gane's movement and polished kickboxing) but these two fighters previously trained together at MMA Factory in France. 

The biggest question surrounding Ngannou is regarding his mindset after reports about him leaving the promotion and possibly moving to the bigger money of the boxing world. If he's not focused on the present - and beating Gane - he could be in trouble. But if he does want to stick it to Dana White, what better way than by leaving a void at the top of the division.

Gane is the more technical striker with better accuracy, output, and cardio but Ngannou's one-punch knockout power is the ultimate equalizer. While that same description could have been used to describe Gane's previous opponent, Ngannou is a far better athlete and is much more explosive than the sluggish Lewis. 

Ngannou also displayed a developed skill set in his previous fight against Miocic, showing improved takedown defense, patience, and even throwing kicks. While his cardio gets plenty of criticism, that might be rendered moot since his fights rarely go long enough to test it.

Ngannou is more than a one-dimensional power puncher and Gane won't be able to avoid his strikes as easily as he did against Lewis. Expect Ngannou to catch him with some big shots and eventually earn the win. 

Gane does a lot of things well but he has a tough time implementing his offensive wrestling and his methodical approach rarely results in early finishes. Every minute he spends in the octagon with Ngannou is like playing Russian Roulette and we don't like his chances of avoiding Ngannou's power for five rounds.

There's no big secret to how Ngannou wins fights. Surprisingly, he pulled off four submission wins earlier in his career but starching his opponents is his typical path to victory. Ngannou's last seven wins have all come by way of KO/TKO and if he doesn't finish Gane it will be next to impossible for him to defeat the high-volume kickboxer if it goes to the judges' cards. 

We're leaning towards Ngannou on the moneyline and with a knockout looking like his only chance of doing that, you may as well bet on that method to win prop and squeeze out a slightly better payout. 

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