UFC 270: Ngannou vs Gane Predictions (Reposted)

The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world will be decided tonight in Anaheim! This is the first pay-per-view of the year and while it may not be stacked top to bottom, the two titles up for grabs make it well worth the price

The write-up here will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It details my betting strategy for each fight and a prediction of what kind of bout we see.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more DFS content be sure to visit DailyPlayAction.com! This site is dedicated to providing expert daily fantasy coaching as well as tools to optimize your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and PGA lineups. Check them out now if you play any FanDuel or DraftKings DFS.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 6-4-0 (Last Year 299-200-5)
  • Nick: 8-2-0 (Last Year 305-194-5)
  • GB: 5-5-0 (Last Year 288-211-5)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 9:30 AM EST 1-22-2021

Early Prelims- Start 7:00pm EST

Kay Hansen -210 (DK $8800, FD $20) vs Jasmine Jasudavicius +170 (DK $7400, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Our action today starts in the women’s flyweight division where Kay Hansen will fight Jasmine Jasudavicius. Hansen is the more experienced and technical fighter in this matchup, but she also is at a size disadvantage after moving up from 115 pounds. Her grappling is going to be key in this matchup as we have seen her implement wrestling and BJJ to secure many wins in the past. Jasudavicius is a pretty typical striker from range, but I do see her having moments in this fight if Hansen is unable to ground her. Usually the smaller fighter can use their center of gravity to complete takedown attempts, but Jasudavicius’ longer framer will make it hard for Hansen to close distance early here. It is not a pick I am very confident in but I ultimately will be siding with Hansen here. I think she gets back in the win column here thanks to her grappling acumen. Kay Hansen by Decision
  • Nick: Hansen is primarily a grappler. She has a very strong wrestling base and does a good job finding submissions from a variety of positions. She is only a purple belt in jiu jisu but she studies under Eddie Bravo, so her BJJ is already quite advanced despite her ranking. Hansen’s striking is still a work in progress, but it’s been improving every single time we’ve seen her fight. She is coming off a hard-fought loss to Cory McKenna but many felt she was robbed in that spot. Jasmine Jasudavicius will be making her UFC debut here, coming off an impressive Contenders Series win over Julia Polastri. She seems to be well-rounded, but Jasudavicius hasn’t faced any competition near the level of Hansen. Considering this is a low-level scrap I don’t want to overinvest in either side here. However, Hansen is the rightful favorite. I expect her to be the more effective striker in this matchup and if the fight hits the mat she is the far more dangerous grappler. Kay Hansen by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Kay Hansen by Decision

Vanessa Demopoulos -140 (DK $8300, FD $16) vs Silvana Gomez Juarez +115 (DK $7900, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Next up is a women’s strawweight bout between Vanessa Demopoulos and Silvana Gomez Juarez. Both women lost their UFC debut rather convincingly after stepping in on short notice. Demopoulos is a former LFA champion who has been incredibly active the past two years. She has solid wrestling, good jiu jitsu and five rounds of cardio in her. The path of least resistance for Demopoulos in this bout will be taking Gomez Juarez to the mat early and often. After seeing the Argentinian submitted by armbar in her last fight, I do not think she can do much to combat Demopoulos when they are engaged in the grappling. While Gomez Juarez is a bit further developed in her standup, she lacks the takedown defense needed to keep this bout competitive. Vanessa Demopoulos by Decision
  • Nick: Demopoulos is a BJJ blackbelt and she will likely have the advantage if this fight hits the mat. She has a powerful wrestling base. Her striking is solid but her defense is questionable at best. She eats a lot of shots against high-volume strikers such as her opponent here today. Gomez Juarez’s only professional losses have come against women that are now on the UFC roster. As impressive as this could be perceived, she really doesn’t have any quality wins to her name. She’s an effective striker and surprisingly technical, but she also seems a bit small for this division. She was completed dominated in her UFC debut, a loss to Lupita Godinez. In spite of her success on the regional scene, she seemed out of place as she was overwhelmed very quickly. This should be a close fight and I expect Juarez to have her moments, but stylistically it seems to favor Demopoulos. As long as she can lean on her grappling and avoid too many exchanges, she should be able to get her hand raised here. Vanessa Demopoulos by Decision
  • GB: Silvana Gomez Juarez by Decision

Preliminary Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Matt Frevola -200 (DK $8700, FD $16) vs Genaro Valdez +165 (DK $7500, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The preliminary card begins with a bout at lightweight between Matt Frevola and Genaro Valdez. It is tough to get a confident read on this fight given what both fighters have shown us thus far. Frevola is the far more experienced fighter having shared the cage with a lot of talented opponents. However, there is obvious concern backing him after he got finished by Terrance McKinney in seven seconds last June. I really like the grit and cardio we have seen from Frevola in the past but you would be crazy to bet him on odds this wide. Valdez is an athletic, high-volume striker that likes to pour on the pressure, but his last win was sloppy. We nearly saw him finished as a -500 favorite on the Contender Series after fighting far too recklessly. He ended up getting the win but it came over an ill prepared opponent that still clipped him plently. Frevola is the pick for me as I suspect he grinds this one out, but Valdez has just as good a chance of winning if he can connect with something big early. Matt Frevola by Decision
  • Nick: Frevola is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Terrance McKinney where he was stopped only seven seconds into the fight. He never had a chance to get going in that spot, but he’ll look to bounce back here carrying a distinct experience advantage over his opponent. Valdez will be making his UFC debut here, coming off a Contender Series win over Patrik White. While his win was impressive, he appeared extremely raw in his abilities and took a lot of damage as a -500 favorite. He showed decent power and overall toughness, but I am not sure he should be competing at the UFC level yet. Frevola is chinny so Valdez is live for an upset KO. However, I expect Frevola to be the better fighter everywhere in this spot. His experience should shine through as he works back into the win column. Matt Frevola by Round Three KO
  • GB: Genaro Valdez by Round One KO

Tony Gravely -250 (DK $8900, FD $20) vs Saimon Oliveira +195 (DK $7300, FD $13)

  • Anthony: Next we have a good scrap at bantamweight between Saimon Oliveira and Tony Gravely. This is the UFC debut for Oliveira after winning on Dana White’s Contender Series last September. The bout was a split decision but Oliveira was clearly the more active and aggressive fighter. While he has excellent muay thai and defensive grappling, it will be an uphill battle for him here against a wrestler as talented as Gravely. When at his best, Gravely is relentless with his takedowns. He averages more than five successful takedowns per bout and does a great job controlling his opponents when they do hit the mat. Oliveira’s high guard and propensity to throw kicks will leave him open to a lot of shots from Gravely. I think we see Oliveira get grounded with ease in this fight and I really believe his best chance of winning is by securing a guillotine or submission off his back. While he has the ability to knock out Gravely, I do not imagine he gets the breathing room to strike comfortably at range. The odds are wide but not wide enough to warrant a bet on the underdog here. Tony Gravely by Decision
  • Nick: We have a really fun matchup here between two developing up-and-comers at bantamweight. Gravely is a high-pressure grappler with a strong wrestling base and heavy hips. He does a good job finding takedowns against a wide range of opponents, but he mostly grapples to control position rather than hunt for submissions. As far as DFS is concerned, Gravely’s takedown heavy approach is ideal for both DraftKings and FanDuel scoring. He’s a powerful striker, but he telegraphs many of his shots and in terms of technical ability he still has a lot of room to improve. Saimon Oliveira will be making his UFC debut here, coming off an impressive Contender Series win over Jose Alday. He is well rounded with decent power on the feet. Like Gravely, he’s hittable. However, he’s very young and athletic with seemingly excellent durability. I expect Gravely to score takedowns at will, but once the fight hits the mat Oliveira is the more dangerous grappler. Five of Gravely’s seven professional losses have come via submission. Gravely has been tested against a much higher level of competition, but he’s going to need to be very careful here against a dangerous defensive grappler. I could see either fighter scoring a finish here so I like both for DFS. However, I’m picking the underdog in this one. Saimon Oliveira by Round One Submission
  • GB: Tony Gravely by Decision

Jack Della Maddalena -350 (DK $9200, FD $22) vs Pete Rodriguez +265 (DK $7000, FD $9)

  • Anthony: This is a matchup at welterweight between Pete Rodriguez and Jack Della Maddalena. Both fighters are making their UFC debut here today. Rodriguez enters on short notice as a late replacement in this spot. He trains nearby in Arizona but really lacks the experience necessary to compete in a matchup like this. Rodriguez is 4-0 as a professional but does seem to have some rather crisp striking. However, Della Maddalena is miles ahead of him in his development. On Dana White’s Contender Series, Della Maddalena showed extremely high-level boxing. He is classically trained in the discipline but also has a sneaky good ground game that we saw put on full display. For the first few minutes I imagine this bout stays competitive, but as soon as Della Maddalena gets his timing the precision will overwhelm Rodriguez here. Della Maddalena does an incredible job putting together combinations and I think Rodriguez starts to crumble under the pressure here. He is one of my favorite bets on the card and I will own a lot of Della Maddalena when building my DFS lineups. Jack Della Maddalena by Round Two KO
  • Nick: We have two UFC debutants here, but Della Maddalena is the far more experienced fighter. He looked outstanding in his last fight beating Ange Loosa on Contender Series. We saw some excellent technical striking in that fight. He has great head movement and footwork, surprising power, and it seems he’s competent on the mat as well. Pete Rodriguez is just 4-0 coming into this bout. He took this fight on short notice after Warlley Alves was forced to withdraw. He’s been impressive so far professionally with all four of his wins coming by knockout, but this represents a dramatic step up in competition for him. Rodriguez has KO power and decent takedown ability, but Della Maddalena is still going to be the better fighter everywhere. The line does feel wide for two debutants, but Della Maddalena is far more technical. As long as he weathers the early pressure of Rodriguez, he should cruise to a win. Jack Della Maddalena by Round Two KO
  • GB: Jack Della Maddalena by Round Two KO

Raoni Barcelos -525 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Victor Henry +365 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Our prelims close with this scrap at bantamweight featuring Raoni Barcelos and Victor Henry. This was a matchup set to take place last month that was delayed due to coronavirus protocols multiple times. While Henry is the biggest underdog on the card, that is not a knock on his ability but instead an endorsement for Barcelos. The Brazilian sits just outside the division’s top fifteen and suffered his first loss since 2014 in his most recent fight. That war with Timur Valiev won Fight of the Night and Barcelos certainly had an argument to get his hand raised. He uses his length well in this division and has unorthodox striking that really gives his opponents fits. Barcelos is also a BJJ blackbelt which should come in handy here against an opponent likely shooting for his legs. While I am confident that he gets the win here, his ceiling on DraftKings and FanDuel is a bit lower than what you may expect. I will have some shares of Barcelos for sure but I’d rather look to spend that salary elsewhere. Raoni Barcelos by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Barcelos is considered by many to be a future top contender in this division. He’s extremely well rounded as a blackbelt in BJJ whose striking seems to improve every time we see him fight. He has a diverse arsenal of kicks, which he mixes in well with his boxing to keep his opponents on their heels. Barcelos has an effective grappling base as well, which he uses to tire and frustrate his opponents. I don’t want to sell Henry short here as he’s a debutant worth keeping an eye on. He’s found a lot of success in respectable promotions like RIZIN and Pancrase. That being said, Barcelos is just far more aggressive and should have a technical advantage no matter where this fight goes. I could see this playing out closer than the betting line indicates, but Barcelos is the clear pick to win. Raoni Barcelos by Decision
  • GB: Raoni Barcelos by Decision

Main Card- Starts 10:00pm EST

Michael Morales -115 (DK $8200, FD $15) vs Trevin Giles -105 (DK $8000, FD $15)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with this bout at welterweight between Michael Morales and Trevin Giles. This is the UFC debut for Morales after securing his contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September. He still has a lot of development left but it is surprising to see someone this skilled at just 22 years of age. While the 12-0 record is impressive, Morales lacks any real quality wins. Giles is going to be a very tough test as he makes his debut at this weight, coming down from 185 pounds. The forward pressure of Giles will be a key factor in this fight as he certainly hits harder than Morales. I think that forward movement will keep Morales on the cage and severely limit his grappling. He landed four takedowns to get past Nikolay Veretennikov but that option may not be available here. Giles already boasts a solid 75 percent takedown defense and it’ll only improve dropping down in weight. Morales will need to rely on striking to secure this win but I believe Giles stays a step ahead. The eight fight UFC veteran should be the more composed and precise of these two. Trevin Giles by Decision
  • Nick: Trevin Giles is primarily a boxer. He has a powerful jab and does a good job using it to set up his power shots. As effective as he is offensively, he sometimes gets overconfident and leaves his hands down. We saw this in his last fight, a loss to Dricus Du Plessis. He started strong in that matchup, but Du Plessis caught him with a monster counter left putting Giles lights out entirely. As ugly as that loss was, it came at 185 pounds. Giles will be moving down to 170 for this bout, and he looked outstanding at weigh-ins. While he may lose some power moving down in weight, he should be closer in size to the majority of his opponents. He found a lot of success at middleweight, but there’s no denying he was undersized. The undefeated Michael Morales will be making his UFC debut here, coming off an impressive Contender Series win over Nikolay Veretennikov. He’s only 22, but he fights with patience and poise. He’s well-rounded with sneaky submission ability and solid striking. While I don’t doubt Morales has the higher ceiling of these two, this matchup feels like a bit too much too soon. Giles will have a technical advantage on the feet here. His experience should shine through here and I really like seeing the successful drop in weight. Trevin Giles by Decision
  • GB: Michael Morales by Decision

Said Nurmagomedov -200 (DK $8600, FD $17) vs Cody Stamann +160 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: Next is a fight at bantamweight between Cody Stamann and Said Nurmagomedov. These are two complete fighters with well developed games both grappling and striking. However, Stamann will be the one looking to bring this fight to the mat. He nearly averages one takedown landed per round and does his best work controlling opponents once they have been grounded. It will be important for Nurmagomedov to focus on his movement here and punish Stamann when the distance does get closed. I do worry about what this fight looks like if Stamann can implement his gameplan, but I believe over the course of fifteen minutes the superior fighter will win out. Nurmagomedov may not be a suffocating grappler like his name implies, but he is certainly knowledgeable of positions and capable of getting up on a few occasions here. It is a tough matchup to call but I am siding with the favorite. Said Nurmagomedov by Decision
  • Nick: We have an excellent matchup here at bantamweight between two fighters with very different styles. Unlike many of the other top Russian prospects, Said Nurmagomedov is primarily a striker. He’s a talented kickboxer who throws a wide range of effective spinning attacks. He’s coming off an impressive knockout win over Mark Streigl, and in most matchups he’s most content to stand and exchange strikes at range. Stamann is well rounded, but his greatest strength is his powerful wrestling base and excellent takedown ability. He’s decent on the feet, but most of his success has come via controlling position against inferior grapplers. Nurmagomedov is going to have a clear advantage on the feet here, but Stamann has a clear path to victory. He can neutralize Nurmagomedov’s striking by scoring takedowns and controlling where the fight goes. I could see this going either way, but all the value seems to be on Stamann here. Cody Stamann by Decision
  • GB: Said Nurmagomedov by Decision

Michel Pereira -290 (DK $9100, FD $21) vs Andre Fialho +225 (DK $7100, FD $10)

  • Anthony: The featured bout is a great scrap at welterweight between Michel Pereira and Andre Fialho. This is the UFC debut for Fialho who steps in on just ten days’ notice. He is a dynamic fighter who won four fights by knockout in 2021. The level of competition hasn’t been great for him lately, but Fialho certainly tested himself when fighting in Bellator and the PFL. Matchups with Chris Curtis and Chidi Njokuani are the toughest on his resume, but both were bouts Fialho lost. I do not think he fairs well here against Pereira who sits just outside the division’s top fifteen. Pereira is honing his skillset with every fight and that is scary given his size and physical strength at this weight class. Aside from all the spinning attacks and taunting, Pereira also has heavy hands and a very good clinch game. He has won his last three fights and appears to be more measured than in his early promotional tenure. Fialho will need a knockout to win this fight and I just don’t see Pereira giving him many opportunities. The movement and technical striking of Pereira should be advantage enough to secure this win. I think it is very unlikely we see the judge’s scorecards here. Michel Pereira by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This fight is must-see TV. Both guys like to stand and swing, they both have power and they’ve both shown time and time again that they can take a lot of damage. Pereira is like a video game character in the way he flips around the ring. He’s one of the most entertaining fighters to watch, but his Fight IQ is always in question. He likes to throw ridiculous looking spinning kicks and he’s been known to backflip onto his opponents for pretty much no reason. This can put an unnecessary dent in his gas tank, but he does have strong striking ability and he has shown a solid chin against decent competition. He looked a lot more reserved in his last fight, and it paid off with an impressive win. Fialho will be making his UFC debut here, and he is going to be at his most dangerous early. He is a powerful striker who continues to show improvements in all facets of his game, but most of his wins come by early knockout. His cardio is a weakness, but he certainly seems to be UFC level as he already has wins over the likes of James Vick and Stefan Sekulic. Pereira is going to have technical advantages everywhere in this one, but if he isn’t careful Fialho has the type of power that could pull off an upset. I expect Fialho to be competitive early, but this is Pereira’s fight to lose. As long as he isn’t overly concerned with pleasing the crowd, he should cruise here. Michel Pereira by Round Two KO
  • GB: Michel Pereira by Round One KO

Brandon Moreno -185 (DK $8500, FD $17) vs Deiveson Figueiredo +150 (DK $7700, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The co-main event will decide the flyweight champion as Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo fight for the third time. When these two are in the cage together you can expect fireworks as they stole the show on both previous occasions. Moreno locked in a submission win to secure the belt in the second meeting of this trilogy and now Figueiredo is motivated to take back what was his. He made the move to Fight Ready to address the issues made evident in the first two meetings. Figueiredo’s biggest blunder as of late has been botched weight cuts, but he seemed to be in the best shape of his life yesterday on the scales. If the cardio issues have been resolved or minimized we should see the aggressive Figueiredo of old one again here. He has the power advantage on the feet and it is crucial that he recognizes it. Moreno is the superior technical striker and unless Figueiredo takes chances here, he will once again get outworked. After being a heavy favorite in the previous two meetings, there is incredible value on Figueiredo as the underdog here. I would not be surprised by any outcome with these two locked in a cage, but for the third time in a row I will be siding with Dues da Guerra. After his only other career loss he put together five straight wins. Given the pace of these flyweights, both are excellent options for DFS today. And New. Deiveson Figueiredo by Round Two KO
  • Nick: We have a rematch here for the flyweight title in matchup we’ve seen twice before. The first fight resulted in a draw, a Fight of the Year candidate that Figueiredo likely won had he not been docked points for a groin strike. In the second fight Moreno was dominant. He picked Figueiredo apart on the feet, seemingly broke him early and then worked him for a submission win. Though, Figueiredo didn’t seem like himself in that spot. While Moreno will likely have the better technical boxing here, Figueiredo has a serious chin. Additionally, he is the far more powerful striker and I expect he remains able to slice right through Moreno’s guard.  When he’s at his best, Figueiredo is so aggressive that his opponents struggle to get into a rhythm against him. He pushes a ridiculous pace and does a good job circling away from danger.  Moreno is one of the better wrestlers at flyweight and he does have an excellent gas tank. He has the more technically sound striking ability and he’s shown he has tremendous durability. As great as Moreno is, I still see Figueiredo as the better fighter overall. His recent camp shift to Fight Ready under Henry Cejudo should be a major factor in this spot. He looked outstanding at weigh-ins and he seems totally focused this time around. And New. Deiveson Figueiredo by Decision
  • GB: Brandon Moreno by Decision

Ciryl Gane -140 (DK $8400, FD $18) vs Francis Ngannou +115 (DK $7800, FD $17)

  • Anthony: Tonight’s main event is a heavyweight title unification bout as the interim champion Ciryl Gane will face the undisputed champion Francis Ngannou. These two behemoths had trained with one another at the MMA Factory in Paris and so things got a bit personal in the lead up to this scrap. The current champion Ngannou has won five consecutive fights by knockout and got his hands on undisputed gold for the first time last March. Every camp at Xtreme Couture has further developed his skills and now Ngannou is a complete fighter, something we could not say when he first challenged for the title. Across from him is Gane who is unlike any other heavyweight on earth. In just ten professional MMA fights he is already at the highest level of the sport thanks to his elusiveness, footwork and excellent striking form the outside. When Gane lets his hands go it is calculated and fluid but still incredibly powerful. He also has dynamic kicks and grappling that need to be addressed by his opponent at all times. A week ago I had been all over the challenger here but I do believe recency bias is clouding public vision a bit. At a pick’em I understand siding with the more technical fighter, but Ngannou is being disrespected by the current odds. In my opinion, the deciding factor here will be Ngannou’s years of martial arts experience and patience closing the distance. It only takes one strike from Francis to change a fight and Gane absolutely cannot be there when the punches land. And Still. Francis Ngannou by Round One KO
  • Nick: We have here what many people are referring to as the most exciting heavyweight matchup in UFC history. Ngannou’s power is as devastating as anyone we’ve ever seen in the sport. He’s coming off an impressive knockout win over Stipe Miocic to capture the title, and he’s on a five-fight winning streak with all wins coming via KO. He showed considerable improvements his last time out as he was very measured and defensively sound against Miocic. He showed improved takedown defense and grappling ability as well and there’s no denying it was the most impressive performance of his career. Ciryl Gane is one of the most athletic fighters there is in the world at heavyweight. He moves extremely fast for this division, bringing excellent footwork and an overall athleticism that is usually considered rare for the weight class. He comes into this bout undefeated at 10-0. Gane picked Derrick Lewis apart his last time out, dominating him for three rounds before getting the finish. His clearest path to victory may actually be on the ground here. He has sneaky offensive grappling ability and Ngannou’s takedown defense is average at best. On the feet, Ngannou is the far more powerful striker. However, Gane lands nearly two more significant strikes per minute. If he can avoid the knockout shot, Gane should control where this one goes. I expect him to significantly outland Ngannou and occasionally lean on his grappling in order to grind this one out. Ngannou is very live for a knockout and it wouldn’t at all surprise me if he ends Gane’s night early. However, Gane has more paths to victory here. I expect his technical advantages in the big cage to be enough to tire Ngannou and take over late. And New. Ciryl Gane by Round Three KO
  • GB: Francis Ngannou by Round Two KO

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