A likely clash between the two heavyweight behemoths was set up after Gane’s championship crowning at UFC 265 earlier this month. Against Derrick Lewis inside Houston’s Toyota Center, “Bon Gamin” dominated his way to becoming the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Following unanimous decision main event victories over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov, Gane faced “The Black Beast” in what was his third headlining clash of 2021. Unlike his first two, the Frenchman put an exclamation point on his win against Lewis thanks to a third-round finish and the gold wrapped around his waist soon after.
Shortly after the crowning of a new French champion, Dana White expressed his desire to organize an event in the European nation to be headlined by the heavyweight unification bout.
Given Ngannou’s own history in France, which includes a move to Paris from Cameroon to purse professional boxing, a period living on the City’s streets, and his introduction to MMA Factory’s Fernand Lopez, a clash in the French capital would likely be of interest for both men.
But during a recent interview with TMZ Sports, White didn’t seem optimistic in his latest update on the promotion’s attempt to book the fight between Gane and Ngannou on French soil.
“Yeah, that would be amazing,” White said of holding the fight in France. “But the way things are looked right now, with all of this COVID-19 stuff going on, I don’t know if that’s going to be possible. But yes, in a perfect world, I would love to do that fight in France.” (BJPENN.com)
Despite seemingly coming towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still spiking in certain nations and preventing the UFC from returning to its global ventures of pre-2020.
The upcoming September 4 card had been set to be the promotion’s return to the United Kingdom. However, that event will now take place in the familiar surroundings of Las Vegas. With travel complications and foreign restrictions, it’s looking more and more likely that the clash between Ngannou and Gane will take place on American or UAE soil.
Despite the UFC’s creation of an interim belt, Ngannou only became champion in March this year, and was apparently open to defending his belt as soon as September. But the promotion’s desire to have Derrick Lewis headlining this month’s Houston pay-per-view saw the controversial interim gold introduced.
“The Predator” reached the heavyweight mountaintop at UFC 260. Against Stipe Miocic, who is widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time, the Cameroonian unleashed his devastating power to knock the veteran out in the second round. Given Gane’s immense ability to avoid his opponents shots, many believe he has a great chance at becoming the undisputed champ with a victory over Ngannou.
Who do you think will emerge victorious in a heavyweight title unification fight? Francis Ngannou or Ciryl Gane?