On Saturday, Ciryl Gane became the first French UFC champion—albeit of the interim variety—by scoring a TKO victory over Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC 265. The third-round finish came after a dominant masterclass from “Le Bon Gamin,” who out-landed Lewis 98-16 in significant strikes.
Gane floated about the cage like a man two weight classes lighter, chopping at Lewis’ lead leg and landing crunching blows at will. As always, Gane controlled the distance masterfully, showing the poise of someone with far more than just nine MMA bouts to his name.
Dana White Wants Ngannou vs. Gane In France—But There’s A Problem
A showdown between former training partners Gane and Ngannou somehow always seemed inevitable. Speaking at the UFC 265 post-fight press conference, Dana White said the stars aligned perfectly for Gane to make a statement against Lewis, then fight for the undisputed belt.
“It’s badass. And what I love is when we were going into this fight, I was telling everybody and it’s absolutely true… you have two of the best possible heavyweights in the world fighting each other. You have the guy that beat Francis Ngannou and the guy who’s undefeated with the whole backstory…” said White.
And it’s not just Gane’s success that seemed fated—but that of MMA in France. After being legalized in that country only three years ago, the growing French interest in the sport seems to have perfectly aligned with the rise of Gane, says White.
“This fight got a lot of heat, created a lot of interest, Cyril Gane goes out tonight, he looks incredible. Like (a reporter) said earlier, we’ve been working a long time on getting France open. France is open now. And we just got a TV deal in France. And here we are,” said White.
A showdown between Gane and Ngannou in France, where both fighters have their MMA origins, seems to make the most sense. When asked if it will happen, White expressed hope that it would, but there’s just one problem…
“You can only hope so….the only kink in the whole perfect story is the crazy shit that’s going on in the world right now,” White said. “So I don’t know. In the perfect script, yes, we go to France, and we do that fight there. That would be amazing,” said White.
What do you think? Will Ngannou vs. Gane in France end up happening?