‘Not Very Hittable’- Coach Eric Nicksick Wary of Ciryl Gane Ahead of Title Fight Against Francis Ngannou

Published 08/11/2021, 10:11 AM EDT


Ciryl Gane recently captured the interim heavyweight championship after a spectacular third-round finish against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. The French man will now get ready for a showdown with Francis Ngannou, the reigning heavyweight champion.

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With an undefeated record of 10-0 as a professional, Gane has quickly made his way up the rankings thanks to his exceptional athleticism, footwork, and distance management.

In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Francis Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick talked about Gane’s recent performance and the threats he poses inside the octagon. 

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“I was very impressed with him, to be quite honest with you. I think he’s very efficient. [That’s]the word that comes to mind, is efficient. He’s not very hittable.” said Nicksick.

“I don’t know what there is to prove or what he has to do. He’s the heavyweight champion of the world. Gane looked great this past weekend. I know we have our hands full, but in my mind, that title is always going to run through us, and it’s ours to defend.”  

Ciryl Gane will certainly be one of the biggest tests for Francis Ngannou. Although Stipe Miocic is the more decorated and experienced fighter, Gane is much bigger and stronger. Furthermore, Gane seems happy to stay on the outside, picking his opponents apart from a distance.

These tendencies could frustrate Francis Ngannou into making the wrong move. However, let’s not forget the massive improvements in Francis Ngannou’s striking game. Apart from possessing thunderous punching power, ‘The Predator’ has displayed an ability to stay patient, calm, and composed for the right moment to let his punches go. 

A fight that has all the makings of a classic heavyweight matchup, Francis Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane will be one for the ages.   

Francis Ngannou: How long will his reign last? 

In a division where belts usually change hands every other fight, Francis Ngannou has the potential to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.  

The 34-year-old is on a five-fight win streak ever since his loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226. Moreover, Ngannou has shown that he is willing to work on his drawbacks, improving his takedown defense significantly after his first meeting with Stipe Miocic.  

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BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: (R-L) Francis Ngannou of Cameroon punches Stipe Miocic in their heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Should Ngannou continue to expand his game, it would be hard to imagine someone causing him any trouble. A well-rounded Francis Ngannou with astonishing knockout power will be a nightmare match-up for anyone in the division.  

Watch This Story: Top 5 Dream Match-Ups on Which UFC Fans Would Pay Anything to Watch: Jones vs. Ngannou, Khabib vs. Usman, and More

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But for now, Francis Ngannou will have his eyes set on his next opponent and former sparring partner, Ciryl Gane.  

What do you think? Will Francis Ngannou become the greatest heavyweight of all time? Let us know in the comments.  

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David Andrew

144 articles

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