The UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2022, next Saturday’s UFC 270, will be headlined by two heavyweights coming off signature title-winning performances.

There’s champion Francis Ngannou, fighting for the first time since he overwhelmed Stipe Miocic with his power, leading to a highlight reel KO victory at UFC 260 to become the undisputed champion. Then there’s Ciryl Gane, who inserted himself in the title picture with a dominant performance over Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 to capture the interim belt.

UFC president Dana White is excited for how the diversity in the styles and the shared backstory of the main event combatants will play out during the fight.

“You couldn’t write a better story line than this one, they used to train together, they came out of the same camp, split up, don’t like each other now, tons of bad blood runs deep in both camps,” White told TSN. “Then you have both guys are champions. Stylistically the fight is incredible the way it matches up, pure power against a guy that moves like a 185-pounder, pure footwork, great hand speed. It’s one of the funnest heavyweight fights we’ve ever had.”

The second-last fight on the UFC 270 card also has the potential to be great as flyweight champion Brandon Moreno makes his first defence against Deiveson Figueiredo, the man he won the belt from as the pair meet for the third consecutive time.

White did not shoot down the idea of a fourth bout depending on the result, but is hoping the two fighters close the book on this rivalry in an exciting and definitive way.

“I don’t like the idea of fourth fights and there’s a lot of guys waiting in line for the next shot,” said White. “Whatever happens, happens as long as it’s a great fight. What I’m hoping for is that it’s a decisive finish, not that we get down to oh, it’s a split decision. As long as it’s a good fight.”

The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung will replace Max Holloway in the next featherweight title fight against champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 273 in April. While many thought the promotion would wait for the result of this Saturday’s headlining bout between featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze, specifically to see if Chikadze can improve his UFC record to 8-0 in an impressive way, White is happy with the choice the promotion has made and says that Chikadze will get his if he keeps taking care of business.

“I would love to wait for Giga and see how that thing plays out, but is he going to win? Is he going to come out unscathed? Is he going to be healthy enough? Can he turn around quick enough?” said White. “Listen, Korean Zombie just won a fight, he’s the fourth-ranked guy in the world. He deserves it.”

“Giga wins, Giga is going to get his chance. Then you’ve got a guy like Josh Emmett who would like that fight, too. Korean Zombie was the right choice.”

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has thrown sports into a state of flux and the UFC has not escaped from that as fights have been changed or cancelled due to positive tests. White says his promotion is prepared and will continue to work their way through during the pandemic.