Ciryl Gane slams Francis Ngannou over UFC contract dispute. The two are set to face off in the main event of UFC 270.
Francis Ngannou made his UFC debut in 2015, defeating Luis Henrique Barbosa de Oliveira in the second round by knockout at UFC on Fox 17. Following this victory, Ngannou went on a five-fight winning streak in the UFC, defeating the likes of Curt Blaydes, Andrei Arlovski, and Alistair Overeem before facing Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 220.
Throughout the fight, Stipe Miocic overwhelmed Ngannou, showing his subpar wrestling and low gas tank. Miocic won the fight by unanimous decision, handing Ngannou his first UFC loss. Ngannou subsequently lost his next bout at UFC 226 against Derrick Lewis, extending his losing streak to two.
He won his rematch with Curtis Blaydes at UFC Fight Night 141, bouncing back from back-to-back losses in style. To earn a second title chance against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, he knocked out UFC icon Cain Velasquez in 26 seconds, Junior dos Santos in 71 seconds, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. This time, Ngannou stifled Miocic’s takedown attempt and KO’d him in the second round to win the UFC heavyweight title.
A little on Ciryl Gane:
Ciryl Gane made his UFC debut against Raphael Pessoa at UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche. In the opening round, Gane outperformed Pessoa and won via submission. He then faced Don’Tale Mayes, whom he defeated via heel hook submission in the third round to receive his first Performance of the Night bonus.
Ciryl went on to defeat Tanner Boser, Junior dos Santos, Jairzinho Rozensruik, and Alexander Volkov in his next four fights in the promotion. Gane was given a bout against Derrick Lewis for the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship due to his overwhelming victory streak. To clinch the championship, Ciryl used his Muay Thai talents to outstrike Lewis and TKO him in the third round.
Ngannou’s dissatisfaction with Dana White and her team is something Gane can’t relate to
Francis Ngannou faces a battle on multiple fronts at UFC 270. The most notable example is Ciryl Gane’s unification bout for the UFC heavyweight belt. Ngannou and his management could still conflict with UFC president Dana White about a new deal. More personally, the pay-per-view on Saturday rehashes a personal spat between Ngannou and his previous MMA Factory team.
The main event of UFC 270 is Ngannou vs. Gane, which takes place on Saturday, January 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Gane expressed his dissatisfaction with Ngannou and the UFC ahead of the fight.
Check out the full interview with Ciryl Gane here:
The conflict between Ngannou and his old employer, MMA Factory, has been well-documented. Gane isn’t buying into that narrative, and on Saturday, he’ll go toe-to-toe with his opponent.
“For my part, yes, I’m always going to be like that. I’m authentic. I want to give respect to anyone on this Earth. This is my mindset,” Gane said. “After that — no matter if Francis wants to keep this kind of relationship — when I jump into the cage, I’m going to do my job for the fans. This is a sport for me. Like a game. This is really like that. No more feelings beyond I want to win. That’s it.”
After Ngannou and Gane unify the heavyweight championships, the UFC heavyweight division lacks an obvious next opponent. Every contender ranked No. 2 through No. 9 has either lost a fight or has a one-bout winning streak. In pursuit of a new challenge, Gane goes outside the heavyweight class to a divisional debut that has been in the works for years.
“Everybody knows Jon Jones wants to jump into this division,” Gane said. “This is a good fight for the money. Everybody knows that. I’m authentic. I talk like I think. So yes. Probably when I win against Francis, why not Jon Jones? I know the people want to see that fight because it would be a good match-up. He’s well-rounded and I’m well-rounded. It would probably be a very technical fight.”
Jones will lose future battles to Gane and Ngannou, according to Daniel Cormier, a former UFC heavyweight, and light heavyweight champion. That assessment is shared by Gane.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Gane said. “Today, we are at the top, myself and Francis. We are on the top because we are great athletes. My strategy is more technical. Francis’ is really powerful. It’s a problem.”