UFC 270 takes place this Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  The event will be headlined by heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou defending his belt for the first time since defeating Stipe Miocic in March of last year.  Ngannou will face the interim title holder, Ciryl Gane, who won the interim belt in August with a win over Derrick Lewis.  There was some controversy with the UFC awarding an interim belt just five months after Ngannou became champion, but it did work to solidify the matchup that everyone wanted between Ngannou and Gane.

Ciryl Gane is now 10-0 in his MMA career (7-0) in his UFC career after transitioning from being a professional Muay Thai fighter in 2018.  He’s defeated some great heavyweight contenders including Junior dos Santos, Jarzinho Rozenstruik, Alexander Volkov, and most recently Derrick Lewis.  His victories have been impressive, but they have not been first round knockouts that take just one punch like Ngannou’s UFC victories, so I was surprised when I saw that Gane was the favorite heading into this heavyweight title fight.

At most sportsbooks you will find that Ciryl Gane is a -130 to -150 favorite, while Francis Ngannou is the underdog with odds ranging from +110 to +130.  Here’s a full betting line and how to bet guide for the Ngannou vs Gane fight from SportsBetListings.com.

Francis Ngannou is now 11-2 in the UFC, with all 11 wins coming via finish in the first two rounds.  He first fought Miocic after taking the UFC by storm and winning six straight fights by finish.  That first fight with Miocic was in January of 2018.  He lost by decision with Miocic able to use his wrestling to mitigate some of Ngannou’s power.  Ngannou then seemed to lose confidence with a lackluster decision loss to Derrick Lewis where neither fighter looked ready to engage.  After that though it took Ngannou, who most agreed was the most dangerous fighter on the UFC roster, four straight knockouts to earn another title shot with Stipe Miocic.  Ngannou only took 162 total seconds to win this four fights, defeating top contenders Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik to leave no doubt that he deserved his rematch with Miocic.  A big reason for the delay was the heavyweight trilogy between Miocic and Cormier, but it still seems like a lot of decisive wins were needed for arguably the most exciting fighter on the roster.  Fast forward to the Miocic fight and Ngannou shows he’s improved and was able to knockout Stipe in the second round.

When you look at the last five Francis Ngannou fights it’s hard to believe that this fighter is an underdog in his first title defense.  That said, it’s not the first time Ngannou has been doubted.  Ngannou was a +170 underdog entering his fight with Cain Velasqeuz and a +200 underdog entering his fight with Curtis Blaydes.  Both fights Ngannou ended up winning in under a minute.  Bettors do not seem to respect Ngannou and continue to think he may not be able to win if he doesn’t get an early knockout.  The problem with that perspective is if one of his punches lands, even if it’s not 100% clean, it knocks opponents out.  That’s a very dangerous fighter to bet against with any confidence.

If you’re interested in betting on fights, check out SportsBetListings.com for some great articles outlining how to bet online.  They cover a general topics and offer odds breakdowns of every top UFC fight.