In a surprising turn of events, it was revealed late last month that Gane would be meeting “The Black Beast” in an interim title bout on August 7. The revelation came despite Dana White’s consistent belief that Lewis would be the next man to challenge current champ Francis Ngannou. Given the infrequent activity of Stipe Miocic during his recent title reign, it’s understandably confusing to many that an interim title fight has been booked when “The Predator” was apparently open to a September date.
But despite that, nobody can discredit Gane’s title credentials. The Frenchman’s UFC rise has been impressive and rapid. Having debuted in the promotion in 2019 as a relatively inexperienced 3-0 professional, “Bon Gamin” has defeated the likes of Tanner Boser, former champ Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik on his way to his first shot at gold. Most recently, the 31-year-old breezed past the dangerous Alexander Volkov in the UFC Vegas 30 main event.
Having opened as the betting favorite, Gane sees no reason why he won’t prove the odds correct when he enters the Octagon with Lewis next month.
While speaking to MMA Fighting, the former undefeated Muay Thai champion admitted that whilst Lewis is clearly dangerous, he’s confident he can avoid his powerful shots.
“This guy is very dangerous, we know that,” Gane said. “Like Jairzinho, a little bit, when this guy touches you just one time, you’re down. And that’s very dangerous, but I think we’re gonna manage that style, touch him, and he’ll never touch me. I think I have the skills to do that.”
“Bon Gamin” added that, despite what many people have said, Lewis possesses both the fight IQ and MMA skills to warrant his place at the top.
“Yes, [I’ve been impressed with him] because some people say he doesn’t have fight IQ, doesn’t have some skills. But he knows what he has, and he can use it very well. I think this guy is really dangerous.”
And given Lewis’ recent second-round finishes against Aleksei Oleinik and Curtis Blaydes, the Frenchman thinks his route to victory involves high pressure and taking the 36-year-old into the later rounds, similar to how he defeated Volkov last month.
“But I think we’re gonna pressure him like we did Volkov. We’re gonna make it [so he’s] in deep water, I’m gonna give him a lot of pressure.”
The clash between Gane and Lewis will not be the only championship fight on the PPV card. Amanda Nunes will be attempting to successfully defend her women’s bantamweight belt for the sixth time. The Brazilian will enter the Octagon with Julianna Peña. “The Venezuelan Vixen” is ranked sixth in the division and defeated Sara McMann earlier this year.
With the likes of José Aldo, Pedro Munhoz, Michael Chiesa, and Vicente Luque also in action on August 7, the event looks set to be another thriller inside Houston’s Toyota Center.
Do you think Ciryl Gane can avoid Derrick Lewis’ Devastating power?