Ngannou vs Gane is one of the most highly anticipated heavyweight title fights in recent memory. Not only will the UFC 270 main event be a hugely relevant bout in unifying the two existing titles, but it truly is a matchup of the most talented and lethal heavyweights in the sport today. After January 22, there will be no doubt about who the new "baddest man on the planet" is.
Ngannou vs Gane: What you need to know
- Time:UFC 270 kicks of with the prelims at 6 pm ET on ESPN and streaming service ESPN+
- Cost: The main card pay-per-view, which costs US $74.99, begins at 10 pm ET exclusively on ESPN+
- Odds: The current DraftKings betting odds have Gane as a -145 favorite with reigning champion Ngannou as a +125 underdog.
- Tickets: You can purchase tickets for the event inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. here
Ngannou vs Gane features two hulks with above average technique
No one will confuse the heavyweight division for having the most technically proficient fighters. However, Francis Ngannu and Ciryl Gane are at the top of the division because they actually are very skilled and adept strikers. The fighter that employs their technique the best could have a huge edge as this title fight plays out.
- The excellence of Gane's Muay Thai:The Frenchman has rocketed into elite status because of his outstanding Muay Thai skills. In a division where most fighters are power punchers with solid boxing, Gane is a man with striking skills that could rival competitiors 50-pounds lighter. He has become a hard to solve puzzle for most in the division, and even made skilled strikers like Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik look levels below in his dominant wins over them.
- Ngannou's underrated boxing:Observers marvel at "The Predator's" absurd punching power -- it really is not of this world -- but the Cameroonian is a talented boxer too. First, under the tutelage of Fernand Lopez, and most recently Eric Nicksick, he has turned into a deadly striker because he uses the hammers in his hands efficiently. Ngannou does not waste energy like he once did. He has become a cold and calculated striker waiting for the right moment to reign his power down on opponents.
Absurd power versus uncanny speed?
The physical gifts Ngannou and Gane have can't be taught. The power and speed they have for their size are what make them special talents at heavyweight. The question is, what wins at UFC 270? Ngannou's power or Gane's speed?
- Not your average heavyweight: Along with impressive technical kickboxing, Gane is abnormaly fast and agile for his size. He bounces on his feet and unleashes his strikes -- especially his kicks -- with a lightning speed that is abnormal for the division. He has become so difficult for opponents because his speed keeps them off balance and forces foes to holster their best weapons out of caution for the rapid return fire "Bon Gamin" can offer.
- Power that can kill: The power that Ngannou has in his hands really is not of this world, and maybe even this universe. Whether it's from distance or just inches away, he has shown the ability put men to sleep with ease from every range. What makes it all the more impressive, is the explosiveness that allows him to close distance like a middleweight. It's the sort of explosive power than can be a trump card in any fight he ever competes in.
Is there an x-factor to break the tie?
When you have such elite athletes going toe-to-toe for UFC gold, the unappreciated traits the competitors have could turn out to be key elements in their victories. What are the x-factors that Ngannou and Gane will bring to the Octagon that could swing the balance of the fight?
- Ngannou's elite Octagon experience: As good as Gane is, he still has not fought and beat the level of competition Ngannou as. The reigning heavyweight champ has knocked out division legends like Stipe Miocic, Junior dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez. As well as decimated top-ranked talent in Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes. He is as ready as any fighter in the division for elite level talent and the pressure's of big fight.
- Gane's gas tank:Many of Gane's strengths have been mentioned above, however, his best trait may be his gas tank. In a weight class where many of the fighter's gas tanks are running on empty at the start of the third round, the interim champion has shown Diaz brothers level cardio in going 25 minutes twice in the Ocatgon. As we saw in Cain Velasquez's Hall-of-Fame level run in the UFC, great cardio as a heavyweight is a game changer.
The bottom line: No matter how this fight goes, fans are in for a treat as two of the very best talents in the UFC heavyweight division over the last five years will compete to be king of the mountain, and hold the most revered title in all of the combat sports. It will be an epic clash of UFC titans.