Thursday, January 27, 2022

Fight Against Ngannou Strange At First, Now Comfortable For Ciryl Gane

UFC heavyweight Ciryl Gane has revealed that he’s comfortable fighting Francis Ngannou despite being former teammates.

This comes after Gane comfortably defeated Alexander Volkov in the UFC Vegas 30 main event last weekend. The Frenchman picked up a unanimous decision victory (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) over the five-time UFC main eventer. In what was a technical striking battle, “Bon Gamin” remained an unsolvable puzzle for “Drago” and, in doing so, extended his perfect UFC record to 6-0.

Since arriving on MMA’s biggest stage as a relative newcomer to the sport, Gane has recorded wins over the likes of Raphael Pessoa, Tanner Boser, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. A second consecutive five-round victory has left the 31-year-old within touching distance of a title shot.

But as Gane has risen up the rankings, many have questioned whether he’d be comfortable fighting former teammate Francis Ngannou. Before making his way to the UFC and clinching gold, “The Predator” trained alongside Gane under Fernand Lopez at MMA factory, the biggest MMA gym in France.

Despite interacting at the gym, Gane has previously stated that he’s never been close with the Cameroonian. In an interview with The Bash MMA, the third-ranked heavyweight detailed his past with Ngannou.

“When I arrived in the gym, in the MMA Factory, Francis lived already in Vegas. I just saw Francis a few times when he come back to Paris to prepare for a fight. So no, I’m not really close to Francis now.”

But despite that, Gane admitted that before the heavyweight title entered the picture, he wasn’t keen to enter the cage with a former teammate. Speaking during the UFC Vegas 30 post-fight press conference, “Bon Gamin” said that his reservations about the matchup are now gone.

“No, like I said, now, I’m comfortable about this matchup because before, unfortunately, it was a shame before the title. Now, for the title, I’m really comfortable with this situation because we (started) from the same gym,” Gane said.

The former unbeaten Muay Thai champion added that a championship bout with Nagnnou would be good for all parties, including MMA Factory.

“So now, I’m comfortable. If tomorrow we’re gonna fight for the belt, this is good fight for us, for me, for him, for my coach, and the MMA Factory.”

Ngannou is set to defend his title for the first time against Derrick Lewis later this year. With Jon Jones planning to sit out until next year, Dana White has already stated that Stipe Miocic will be awaiting the winner of the champ’s next bout should no agreement with “Bones” be made.

But despite a likely lengthy wait for a matchup for the heavyweight gold, Gane has already announced his intention to sit out and wait for his turn at the champ.

Do you think Ciryl Gane can defeat Francis Ngannou?

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Harvey Leonard
Harvey Leonard is an MMA journalist with experience writing and creating content for publications like Sportskeeda, GiveMeSport, and WhatCulture. He has a degree in Sports Journalism, having graduated from Southampton Solent University in England in 2020.