UFC 270 took place Jan. 22 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Undisputed UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou (17-3) faced off with interim champ Ciryl Gane (10-1) in a five-round main event. The fight aired live on the ESPN+ pay-per-view main card. Catch more video highlights below.
For more on Ngannou vs. Gane, check out a live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Baddest Man on the Planet. Let’s go.
Both men begin the bout in orthodox and it’s Ngannou trying cut the cage off and Gane is moving on the outside. Gane gets backed to the fence and then he shoots a takedown! Ngannou defends but Gane drives him all the way across the cage and has the clinch. Ngannou lands a good shot off the frame and they are in space.
Ngannou again comes forward and Gane against drops for a takedown but Ngannou is ready for it. Now it’s Ngannou who has a clinch against the fence but Gane turns him and lands a knee. In-fighting from both men and Gane lands a shot over the top.
Ngannou bulldozes his way inside and throws some big uppercuts. One appears to maybe land low but Gane keeps composed. Ngannou is crowding Gane a lot and trying to land big uppercuts inside but Gane is catching most of it on the arms.
Now Gane is starting to move and he’s sticking with kicks and the jab. Ngannou still marching him down. He may be measuring himself, trying not to expend to much energy. Another clinch happens and Ngannou gets Gan against the cage. Good knee to the body lands and then Gane reverses. This clinch game would not seem to favor Ngannou but I guess we’ll see. Gane certainly is content to spend time inside and wait out the round.
Gane lands a good knee and the Ngannou lands an uppercut to the body on the break. Both men breathing out their mouths as the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gane.
That first round was extremely close. Either man could have taken it but I favored the cleaner shots from Gane. Neither man landed much though. In the corner, Ngannou’s corner feels they know what the plan is now and tell Ngannou to change his target lower because Gane is ducking out of exchanges.
Ngannou for sure looks more tired off the stool than Gane and Gane immediately on his bike to start, Ngannou walking him down. Gane now looking for the side kick to Ngannou’s lead leg. Lands a couple and then Ngannou swings hard but misses. Gane steps in with a combo and this now looks exactly like the kind of fight he wants, moving around on the outside and scoring points.
Gane upping the volume here and he clips Ngannou with a right hand off a combo. Ngannou is very flat-footed and Gane is dancing around him. Ngannou swings and misses but now he’s got a clinch. Still seems awful for him given the texture of this fight.
Ngannou’s mouth is wide open now and he eats a wheel kick from Gane. Ngannou still cutting the cage though but Gane has set the range. Ngannou can’t figure it out. Does land a good kick though. That’s a good tool for him. Gane slowing down some as well though. Tries another wheel kick that misses but now Gane is just moving away. He’s either luring Ngannou in or he too is getting tired.
Feints from Gane but this time Ngannou lands an uppercut when Gane steps in. He’s still bouncing though. And another kick. the pace is a crawl now as the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Gane, 20-18 Gane overall.
The first round was close but the second was clear. Gane is now in charge of this fight and Ngannou is going to need to change something up.
Ngannou is sweating like Patrick Ewing in triple overtime and he’s breathing deeply as well. Gane, meanwhile, looks like he went for a light jog. And he’s on his bike to start the round. Ngannou also is not cutting the cage.
Gane goes for a high kick and Ngannou catches it and dumps Gane with a huge slam! Raw power of a huge man and now Ngannou is on top and in side control. This is excellent for Ngannou. Gane is trying to create space to stand and Ngannou is holding but Ngannou advances to mount!
Gane is moving but Ngannou is now landing the big shots and he’s got back control! Ngannou knows jiu-jitsu! But Gane gets to the cage and after eating a few more shots he’s able to reverse the position and stand. They’re in the clinch and Gane is holding on but Ngannou hip-tosses him! Gane lands hard but is able to get back up again. This rules!
Gane holding onto the clinch and keeping the position. Gane lands a spinning elbow on the break. Ngannou whiffs a big shot and Gane lands a side kick to the body. Ngannou looks tired but he’s coming forward. Another wheel kick from Gane who is also looking pretty spent now too. Better than Ngannou but still tuckered.
30 seconds left and Ngannou shoots a takedown and gets it! Gane grabs a kimura but it’s on the wrong side and Ngannou powers out. Now he’s in top-half and sitting on Gane as Gane tries to get up.
MMA Fighting score the round 10-9 Ngannou, 29-28 Gane overall.
In a just world where MMA scoring was relative to other rounds, Ngannou would’ve gotten a 10-8 there. Not a ton of damage but that was the clearest round of the lot. D-1 Ngannou may be what he needs in this fight.
Gane appears to have gotten some good rest between rounds though. Ngannou looking a bit weathered. That being said, Gane is moving well but now seems to be concerned about the takedown because he’s not kicking as much.
Big body shot from Ngannou while Ngannou lands a few touching leg kicks. Gane is barely hitting Ngannou and that could be an issue in the judges’ eyes. Ngannou lands a big counter and he’s clearly landing the better shots this round, even though there aren’t many.
A body kick from Ngannou is caught but Gane but Ngannou uses that to simply power forward and get a bodylock, which he uses to take Gane down. Gane rolls and Ngannou has back control from turtle. Gane is building himself up but he eats a couple of big punches and he can’t shake Ngannou. Gane tries to roll on a leg but can’t and Ngannou again hits him. Gane gets up and starts working on a kimura again and Ngannou takes him back down. Ngannou is working his way to mount but Gane recognizes it and backs down.
Ngannou is in top-half and he’s mostly controlling here but that’s going to win the round. Gane scoots his butt to the cage and Ngannou lands a big knee to the chest from standing. Ngannou keepinghis hips over Gane and smothering him and now lands a few shots. Gane is starting to get tired for sure here. D-1 Ngannou is a problem. Gane can’t shake him.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Ngannou, 38-38 overall.
It’s either Ngannou up 3-1 or it’s all tied up. If Ngannou can get one takedown, this is his night. Truly a championship performance if so. And Gane’s corner appears to think they are down. They certainly are acting desperate.
Gane bouncing and coming forward to start the fifth and he’s got some pep in his shots now. Gane looking like he’s saved some stuff for the finale. Ngannou backs him off with some big swings but Gane can see them coming. Big exchange backs Ngannou up and now Gane shoots a single-leg!
Ngannou ends up accepting the position and Gane has top half. But Ngannou quickly digs an underhook and tries to stand. Gane forces him back down but now Gane is in the guard and OH MY GOD GANE DROPS FOR A LEG LOCK. What an idiot. Ngannou is now on top. Except he drops back again and this one looks much worse for Ngannou!
Ngannou is able to pull his leg out but Gane resets! Ngannou is too slick now though and he’s out and he’s in top-half! Ngannou is close to having the mount and Gane is trying to evade. Ngannou needs to posture p and land some shots and this fight is his.
Gane digs an underhook and sits up and Ngannou just stalls him there. Both men seem exhausted. Gane trying to get up but Ngannou drags him back. He’s not landing anything though. 20 seconds left and Ngannou lands a couple shots. Short time and Ngannou goes for a few blows to end it but will it be enough?
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Ngannou, 48-47 Ngannou overall.
Francis Ngannou defeats Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision to retain his UFC heavyweight title (48-47, 48-47, 49-46).