The first PPV of 2022 goes down this weekend and is certainly a blockbuster event. We’re treated to a championship doubleheader as well as plenty of undercard talent on show. The main event sees a fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world when Francis Ngannou taking on the interim champion, Ciryl Gane. The co-main event provides a trilogy between top flyweights Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo for the strap. You can check out the latest MMASucka Podcast where the team breakdown the UFC 270 main event, co-main event and much more:
Despite there being a number of big fights, we take a look at three fights that are going under the radar and are certainly ones to keep an eye on.
Three Under the Radar Fights at UFC 270
Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Silvana Juarez
Originally scheduled for UFC Vegas 46, Vanessa Demopoulos will finally take on Silvana Juarez at UFC 270. The former LFA strawweight champion, Demopoulos has made just one UFC appearance, which came on late notice in August of last year. She was well beaten by JJ Aldrich on this occasion, being outstruck 121-87 and being unsuccessful on all five of her takedown attempts. She also had an opportunity on DWCS, however, she suffered a loss at the hands of the young up and comer, Cory McKenna. She’s gritty, willing to stand in the pocket and will be determined to pick up her first UFC win in her second bout.
Juarez, like Demopoulos, will be looking to pick up her first UFC win in her second appearance. The Argentine lost her debut to Lupita Godinez via armbar. Prior to this, however, she had only lost to UFC veterans Ariane Lipski and Poliana Botelho. With eight finishes in her 10 wins, Juarez is not one to leave it in the hands of the judges making for an exciting fight style.
Cody Stamann vs. Said Nurmagomedov
19-4-1 Cody Stamann is set to clash with 14-2 Said Nurmagomedov at bantamweight. Both men are on the cusp of a top 15 spot at bantamweight and this fight will be a pivotal clash to determine who can make the next step. Stamann started his UFC career with three straight victories before losing form. He’s 0-2 in his last two outings having lost to Jimmie Rivera and top contender, Merab Dvalishvili. He’s got a solid wrestling game, averaging 2.80 takedowns per minute with an accuracy of 44%. His takedown defence is 75% and defended six takedowns from Dvalishvili. On the other side, Nurmagomedov has a takedown average of just 0.45, ironically for a Nurmagoemdov. The striking numbers lie slightly in the favour of Nurmagomedov, with an output of 4.65 strikes per minute. Stamann himself spoke to MMASucka and stated: “I don’t see a path to victory for him. The guy can’t take me down and beat me up. He’s not going to be able to outwork me in a fight.”. You can check out the whole interview here!
Nurmagomedov is 3-1 in the UFC but has been out since October 2020. He was scheduled to fight Jack Shore, however, had to withdraw from that one due to injury. Nurmagomedov will enter the bout with a significant reach advantage of 5.5 inches and a height advantage of two inches. His takedown defence is 71% and has only been taken down twice in four UFC fights. Expect Stamann to be hunting for the takedown throughout this one, with Nurmagomedov wanting to keep things standing and utilise that reach advantage. A banger at bantamweight for sure.
Ilia Topuria vs. Charles Jourdain
One of the biggest fights on the UFC 270 card that is going under the radar is Ilia Topuria vs. Charles Jourdain. The undefeated Topuria was scheduled to fight Movsar Evloev, however, Evloev was forced to withdraw from the bout. He’s been replaced with the all-action, Charles Jourdain. Jourdain enters the bout off the back of a phenomenal performance on the last card of 2021 where he dominated Andre Ewell. ‘Air’ outlanded Ewell 150-59, proving he’s got a good gas tank, so taking this one on short notice shouldn’t be a problem.
Topuria is undefeated at 11-0 and has amassed a 3-0 UFC record, including two finishes. Last time out he knocked out Ryan Hall in a patient show. Although he’s no longer facing a ranked opponent, the skill of Jourdain will certainly keep Topuria motivated. A win over Jourdain could still see him crack the top 15, especially with a stand out showing. This is certainly one to keep an eye on at featherweight because whoever gets their hand raised is set for a big 2022.
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