In one of the most intriguing and highly anticipated heavyweight matchups of all time, former teammates Ngannou and Gane will collide in this weekend’s main event for a blockbuster unification showdown.
While “The Predator” secured his place on the throne at the second time of trying last March by knocking out Stipe Miocic, “Bon Gamin” continued his rapid and impressive rise to the top by having interim gold wrapped around his waist in August with a dominant display against Derrick Lewis.
The pair will now share the Octagon this Saturday, with a number of compelling storylines making the opening pay-per-view headliner of 2022 one not to miss.
Ngannou Warns Gane Of “Big Risk”
One of the biggest talking points heading into the January 22 event is the history between the two headliners. Ngannou and Gane used to be teammates over at Paris’ renowned MMA Factory gym. While the Cameroonian departed in 2018 and has since developed a bitter feud with Coach Fernand Lopez, France’s Gane remains a top name there.
With recently released sparring footage showing the two elite heavyweights going at it in training, fans and pundits have discussed whether that experience facing one another will benefit either man. For Ngannou, a few sparring sessions years ago won’t play a part in this weekend’s result.
“I am not actually very familiar with Gane – I have only trained with him less than eight times for a few weeks three years ago,” Ngannou told Stake. “That is not enough to know that much about it. Also, everyone has improved and worked on different things since then – so it doesn’t mean anything for me. But yes, he is an all-round good fighter whose abilities I am aware of.”
While Ngannou acknowledges the talent and unique technical style Gane possesses, he believes his opponent’s strategy could be his downfall. “The Predator” suggested that if the interim champ attempts to outpoint him across 25 minutes, things won’t end well for “Bon Gamin.”
“I heard Gane wants to go five rounds and win on points. That is definitely a big risk with my power to try and last that long,” added Ngannou. “It will have to be his very lucky day to survive the first round or two, let alone five. If he makes five rounds, it will be a big accomplishment for him.”
With that in mind, Ngannou went on to predict another early knockout.
“My prediction is that it will probably be a second-round knockout from me – or at least I will have knocked him out in under two rounds.”
If Ngannou’s prediction comes to fruition, it will maintain his 100% finishing record, a stat that’s seen him end all of his victories before the fights saw a third round. But if Gane is able to avoid the champ’s power, like he managed against Lewis and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 2021, he’ll extend his unbeaten record to 11-0.
Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 270, Francis Ngannou or Ciryl Gane?