‘Training Is Something, the Fight Is Another Thing’- Ciryl Gane on Fighting His Former Teammate Francis Ngannou

Published 08/08/2021, 10:43 AM EDT


Newly crowned UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane continued his dominance in the division as he downed Derrick Lewis via TKO. The duo headlined the UFC 265 event staged in Toyota Center, Houston, Texas.

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With this win, the Frenchman not only improved his career record but also booked a mouthwatering title unification bout against undisputed champion Francis Ngannou.

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While a clash with ‘The Predator’ may scare any fighter, Gane could be one of those who may not fall under this category. The first reason, he knows Ngannou’s strength very well compared to others as they used to spar. Second, unlike many, he possesses astute footwork coupled with better cardio compared to all other Ngannou’s opponents.

While these are just theoretical advantages for Gane and he knows that the actual match will be pretty difficult than just a sparring round.

“Yeah, training is something. The fight is another thing,” Gane said. “Not surprised. Everybody knows Francis’ strength, everybody knows my strength and we will see. For the moment, I don’t want to think about that. I just want to rest.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 27: Ciryl Gane of France reacts after his victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname in a heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Ngannou is currently operating on a different level. He has picked up his last few wins through knockouts. Although his power game was never in question, it’s the other areas that needed a bit of improvement. He showed the same in his match against former Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, where he negated the latter’s takedown attempts.

What can we expect from Ciryl Gane vs Francis Ngannou?

Gane (10-0) has reached the upper echelons of the heavyweight division pretty quickly. It’s just been over 2 years since he started his journey with UFC. In these two years, he has got over the likes of Lewis, Volkov, etc, without being troubled much.

While he may take some confidence after getting a knockout win over someone who has defeated Ngannou once, he will be wary of the undisputed champ’s progress.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 09: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon prepares to fight Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname in their heavyweight fight during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Ngannou is the most dangerous MMA fighter of all time. Period. The African native has put to sleep almost every other top fighter in the division and will start as a favorite against Gane.

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But one thing that will keep circling around his head will be durability. Gane, unlike his other opponents, takes the game deep. And if we put a scope into his past, we find that 2 of his losses in UFC have come via distance. He may work on that aspect and come prepared for that on judgment day.

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What did you make of Gane’s comments?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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