This Saturday, at UFC 256, the flyweight title is on the line as reigning champion Deiveson “God of War” Figueiredo (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) takes on number one contender Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno (18-5-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) in the main event. Both Figueiredo and Moreno are making quick turnarounds as they are each coming off first round stoppage victories at UFC 255, November 21st. Figueiredo defended his belt against Alex Perez with a first round guillotine choke victory. That same night, Moreno finished the always exciting Brandon Royval in the first round via TKO. This is the first time in UFC history that the flyweight belt has been contested twice in less than a month’s span. In addition to the short time between their last respective bouts, both the champion and challenger have other records and accomplishments they’re looking to attain. For Deiveson Figueiredo, he has the opportunity to break the record for most finishes in flyweight history at 8. Former champion Demetrious Johnson is currently tied with Figueiredo in first place with 7 stoppages. For Brandon Moreno, he has the chance to become the first Mexican-born UFC champion. It is important to put emphasis on the word “born” because otherwise Cain Velasquez and Henry Cejudo might take issue with that statement. Currently, the champion Figueiredo is around a -300 favorite, with the comeback on the challenger Moreno at roughly +260 across the board.
In this article, I will discuss two of my favorite parlay legs on the UFC 256 fight card. Please remember to always gamble legally and responsibly.
Ciryl Gane (-400)
France’s Ciryl Gane (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is only 6 fights deep into his mixed martial arts career, yet already shows the signs of a future top 10 fighter. At only 30 years of age, which is young for heavyweight standards, Gane is a lot more polished than his record indicates. The man known as “Bon Gamin,” which translates to “good kid” in French, brings an accomplished kickboxing background blended in with physical tools and a competent ground game to go along with it. The Frenchman stands 6 foot 5 with an 82 inch reach, and usually weighs in at the 265 lb heavyweight limit.
But how does he move? Gane effortlessly switches stances, patiently picks his shots, and even shows off moments of athletic brilliance when he jumps sky-high with his flying knees. I do not believe that Ciryl Gane is only 6-0 in his mixed martial arts campaign. Gane fights more like he’s 12-0. Either this guy is a one-in-a-lifetime prodigy, or someones lying to us about his record.. Or both.
In addition to Gane’s beautiful striking arsenal, he also possesses finishing ability in the Jiu Jitsu department as well. In Gane’s UFC debut versus Raphael Pessoa, “Bon Gamin” effortlessly dragged his Brazilian foe to the mat and finished him with an arm triangle choke in the first round. The very next fight versus Don’Tayle Mayes, Gane put on an absolute clinic outstriking Mayes 50 to 14 on head strikes and 30 to 5 on body strikes. To add insult to injury, after thoroughly dominating his opponent for every second of the fight, Gane decided to drop back for a heel hook with less than 20 seconds left in the fight, and successfully got the tap. When was the last time you saw a heavyweight fighter with a decorated striking background winning fights via heel hook? I’m going to guess never. Enter Ciryl Gane.
Ciryl Gane faces off with one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, as he takes on former champion Junior “Cigano” dos Santos (21-8 MMA, 15-7 UFC). The man fans simply refer to as “JDS” has not only won the belt and defended it, but also holds victories over Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Shane Carwin and Derrick Lewis among others in his illustrious career. I am also willing to wager that Junior dos Santos will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame before it’s all said and done.
So how do they match up?
In my eyes, this fight is a classic example of the new generation versus the old. Yes, Cigano has the experience edge, and has faced a much higher level of competition no questions asked. They say power is the last thing to go, hence why dos Santos can still end a fight with one punch or kick. However, the durability of JDS is a big time question mark, and I am under the impression that he can no longer take or sustain the punishment he once could. In Junior’s famous trilogy versus Cain Velasquez, the part that made the second and third fights so hard to watch was that dos Santos ate so many flush shots and would simply not go down. It’s almost like he’s too tough for his own. Fast forward to 2020, all the wars have caught up to JDS, and he can no longer absorb prolonged beatings and fire back like he used to. In fact, dos Santos has been knocked out in his last 3 fights in a row.
I think Ciryl Gane is going to get his first knockout win inside the octagon versus the legend, and move into the top 10 of the heavyweight rankings. Despite the line being seemingly wide, I still think Gane makes a good parlay leg, as I simply do not see JDS eating the shots that will be thrown at him and staying upright.
Tecia Torres (-450)
Tecia Torres (11-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) has been a staple of the UFC strawweight division ever since its inception in 2014. Prior to Torres’ UFC debut, she already held wins over future champion Rose Namajunas as well as the popular Paige VanZant. During her UFC run, she earned wins over womens MMA mainstays Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill. At UFC 256, Torres will welcome promotional newcomer Sam “Sampage” Hughes (5-1 MMA) to the UFC.
Hughes, a very exciting prospect in her own right, has ended 4 of her 5 victories before the final bell. In fact, out of “Sampage” 4 stoppage wins, 3 are by submission and 1 is via KO/TKO. That being said, the level of competition Hughes’ faced on the regional scene is night and day compared to the killers that Torres has been up against. It’s not even close. Many bettors hold the fact that Torres has lost 4 out of her last 5 fights against her. I am not one of those people. If this was another top 5 opponent, maybe i’d consider using those defeats as bait. But not here. And not now.
Torres’ recent skid includes losses to current reigning champion Weili Zhang, as well as former champions Jessica Andrade and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, with the lowest ranked loss coming to top 10 contender Marina Rodriguez. It’s safe to say that Torres has shared the octagon with the absolute cream of the crop in her division, and there is absolutely no shame in losing to any of the people she’s lost to.
When Torres finally got a “step down” in competition against former top prospect Brianna Van Buren, all 3 judges scored the bout 30-27 for Torres. In other words, you have to be on a certain level to beat someone like Tecia Torres. I simply do not believe Sam Hughes is on that level. Despite a wide line, I think Tecia Torres cruises to another decision win, and covers her big price tag. I would not be surprised to see Torres close in the -750 to -1000 range.