The first UFC pay-per-view event of 2022 will cement the promotion’s undisputed heavyweight champion.

According to reports from French outlet La Sueur that were subsequently confirmed with sources by MMA Junkie, current champ Francis Ngannou is set to take on the recently-crowned interim champion Ciryl Gane on Saturday, January 22.

The bout is reportedly close to being made official, and will see the former training partners face off for the unified title, with Ngannou and Gane previously sharing the mats at the MMA Factory Paris gym.

While Ngannou eventually parted ways with the gym and its head coach, Fernand Lopez, to head to Las Vegas and hook up with Xtreme Couture’s head coach Eric Nicksick, Gane remained in Paris and built a seven-fight win streak under the UFC banner, with the most recent of those victories seeing Gane finish Derrick Lewis with strikes in the third round at UFC 265 to capture interim gold.

Ngannou, meanwhile, has spent a frustrating time on the sidelines since his title-winning knockout of Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March. The Cameroonian has campaigned for a superfight with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who has been preparing to move up to heavyweight.

But, with Jones not yet able to compete, and despite Ngannou’s wish to compete, the UFC instead booked an interim title fight between Gane and Lewis, with the Frenchman emerging victorious to set up a tantalising clash between the former teammates at UFC 270.

The heavyweight title fight will headline a fight card that already has a number of matchups confirmed, including a bout between middleweight contenders Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier.

UFC 270 Bout List

  • Francis Ngannou (c) vs. Ciryl Gane (ic) – for undisputed UFC heavyweight title
  • Derek Brunson vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Alexei Oleinik vs. Greg Hardy
  • AJ Dobson vs. Jacob Malkoun
  • Rodolfo Vieira vs. Wellington Turman
  • Ji Yeon Kim vs. Poliana Botelho