By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
It was a perfect storyline for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 270: Deiveson Figueiredo re-capturing the flyweight belt against Brandon Moreno and reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou beating his former MMA sparring mate, Cyril Gane.
What a fight card, and what a day for mixed martial arts fans as UFC 270 brought two of the craziest championship fights in the flyweight and heavyweight division.
For the co-main event, Figueiredo had his revenge against Moreno after winning via unanimous decision where all of the judges scored the bout 48-47.
Figueiredo showed huge improvements from his last two clashes against Moreno and fought a more technical and patient approach.
Getting submitted during their last fight was a painful lesson for the Brazilian champion and showed great take-down defenses against the slick Moreno.
It was mayhem inside the octagon when both fighters brawled for five straight rounds but Figueiredo gained the slight edge in the stand-up war when he dropped the champion three times with his power punches.
Also, Figueiredo’s incorporation of the calf kicks helped him slow down Moreno and negated his take-down prowess from rounds one to four.
Moreno had a clean take down at the start of the last round but wasn’t able to capitalize as Figueiredo got out of danger and remained on his feet.
Meanwhile, in the main event of UFC 270, it was a masterclass display for Ngannou after retaining his belt against his former sparring mate Gane.
Gane had the first two rounds and found early success in dealing with Ngannou as the French challenger opted to stay within his favorable distance and threw his outside leg kicks and quick jabs.
However, Ngannou surprised everyone when he recorded the first take-down of Gane’s professional MMA career.
Known to be a striker, Ngannou’s tremendous ground and wrestling game shocked Gane when he tallied three successful take-downs from rounds three to five.
It was a unique heavyweight clash in the last and final round when both men twice exchanged dominant positions on the ground.
Gane was close in executing a perfect leg lock for a submission victory but Ngannou’s activity and incredible sprawl defense helped him reverse the table again and ended the round on top of the challenger.
Ngannou earned a one-sided unanimous decision victory to keep his UFC heavyweight belt when all the three judges scored the bout 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.