The first UFC pay-per-view event is here, and the promotion is back in Southern California. In the UFC 270 main event, former teammates fight as heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and interim champion Ciryl Gane will unify the belts in a gigantic main event. The co-main sees Brandon Moreno defend his belt against Deiveson Figueiredo in a trilogy, and it’s the first time in UFC history two opponents fight back-to-back-to-back. However, if you look past the main and co-main events, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Return of Kay Hansen
Kay Hansen returns to action after a 14-month layoff. She was last in action against Cory McKenna, in which she lost a controversial unanimous decision. Hansen took 2021 off to deal with injuries and personal issues, but she’s back. The 22-year old fights in her home state of California. She welcomes Jasmine Jasudavicius to the UFC after the Canadian secured a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series last season. Hansen will be fighting up a weight class at flyweight for the first time in the UFC and will decide whether she is staying at the weight class or going back down after the fight. Hansen and Jasudavicius kick off UFC 270 on ESPN +.
Banger of the week
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Pete Rodriguez is this week’s Banger of the week. Both men are making their UFC debuts, with Rodriguez taking the fight on less than a week’s notice. Rodriguez comes from the iKon promotion and is 4-0 with four knockouts. Maddalena (10-2) had his 100% finish rate snapped when he competed on Dana White’s Contender Series and defeated Ange Loosa. Other than that fight, the Australian finished all of his prior opponents before reaching the third round. Both men are going to try and make a statement. But, holy smokes, this fight will be ridiculous for as long as it lasts.
Trevin Giles Moving to 170
After 16 fights at middleweight and one at light heavyweight, Trevin Giles is making a move down to welterweight. It has been a 14-week journey for him. Giles had his three-fight win streak snapped at UFC 264 when he got knocked out by Dricus du Plessis. The 29-year old was somewhat undersized at middleweight, being 6’0 in a division full of huge guys. But, of course, plenty of guys his size are doing just fine at middleweight. Giles welcomes undefeated Michael Morales to the UFC.
Charles Jourdain is a badass
Four weeks after putting on an incredible performance against Andre Ewell on the last UFC card of the year, Charles Jourdain steps in on short notice to fight one of the- if not the biggest prospect in all of the UFC, Ilia Topuria. Jourdain fought out his UFC contract in his last outing, and a few days before he agreed to step in and fight this weekend, he signed a brand new contract, something that he wanted. In his UFC career, Jourdain has alternated wins and losses, but he is never in a boring fight. The UFC has actually robbed him of a few Performance of the Night performances. As I said, he faces a very tough task in front of him with Topuria, who is undefeated and is on a complete tear. Win or lose, Jourdain goes on the badass list.
Welcome to the UFC, Andre Fialho
Andre Fialho also steps in on short notice to make his UFC debut against Michel Pereira. Fialho has completely turned his career around after a lackluster PFL run and one-off LFA appearance. He went 4-0 with four knockouts. He was the one to retire former top 15 fighter James Vick when he knocked him out in the main event of XMMA 1. Fialho has been fighting in UAE Warriors, where he also knocked out former UFC fighter Stefan Sekulić. Fialho vs. Pereira will be an amazing fight, and it is the featured fight on the PPV for a reason.
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MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.