Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged its first pay-per-view (PPV) event of 2022 with UFC 270 going down inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., last night (Sat., Jan. 22, 2022). In the main event, Francis Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane via unanimous decision after 25 minutes of hard-fought action to unify the Heavyweight titles (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Deiveson Figueiredo became the Flyweight champion once again by defeating Brandon Moreno after a tough five rounds of back-and-forth fisticuffs (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Francis Ngannou
It wasn’t via one of his patented knockouts, but Ngannou got the job done in California by defeating his former training partner to once again become the undisputed king of the 265-pound division. In doing so, not only did he lay sole claim to the “Baddest Man on the Planet” label, but he proved that even though he did look tired early on, he can dig deep to fight a full 25 minutes, showing off some of his grappling skills in the process. Furthermore, a win gives “The Predator” plenty of leverage now that it will be time to sit down with the UFC brass to talk about a contract extension. To make things even sweeter, he could very well be looking forward to a potential big-money showdown against Jon Jones.
Runner Up: Deiveson Figueiredo
Once again, Figueiredo and Moreno put on a great fight for the fans that lasted the full 25 minutes. After it was all said and done, "Daico” came out on top to take home the unanimous decision win, putting the series at 1-1-1. It wasn’t easy, but Figueiredo came out just a bit more aggressive and crisp and in much better shape than in the second fight. Moreno looked great, too, but Figueiredo was seemingly one step ahead the entire fight. Now that’s he’s back on top, Figueiredo isn’t running away from an improbable fourth straight bout against “Assassin Baby,” who will undoubtedly accept it should UFC matchmakers decide to go that route.
Honorable Mentions: Said Nurmagomedov
Cody Stamann vowed to be the first man to stop Nurmagomedov, but not before out-grappling him. Unfortunately for the powerhouse wrestler, he never got the chance because Nurmagomedov put it on him from the jump to score a lightning-quick submission in the first round that took all of 47 seconds. The victory improves Nurmagomedov’s record to 4-1 and puts him on the fast track to make some noise in a very crowded Bantamweight division. He’s looked great thus far in his short stint, and things are only looking up for the Dagestani.
Biggest Loser: Cody Stamann
Not only did Stamann not back up his prediction of dominating Nurmagomedov before finishing him, he didn’t even make it out of the first minute of the fight. Nurmagomedov trapped Stamann in an air-tight choke that had him tapping for dear life as soon as he hit the canvas. What makes the defeat a bit more crucial is the fact that it was his third straight loss inside the Octagon. He is now just 2-4-1 in his last seven fights. I don’t see Stamann getting cut after his latest setback, but it definitely puts him on thin ice going into his next bout, which could be his last inside the Octagon if he comes up short one more time.
For complete UFC 270 results and coverage click here.