Ngannou earned a unanimous decision win at UFC 270 over Gane, but it was anything but easy. Entering the cage with a significant knee injury, Ngannou didn’t use his striking as much and instead utilized his improved grappling, especially in the later rounds.
Ngannou vs. Gane was arguably the most highly-anticipated heavyweight title clash in UFC history. While the fight itself wasn’t as much of a barn-burner as many expected, it was a technical showcase from both fighters.
The pre-fight hype included the relationship between Ngannou and his former MMA Factory head coach, Fernand Lopez, along with his past sparring sessions with Gane. Many believed Gane had the perfect skillset to dethrone Ngannou, especially on the feet.
During a recent Q+A on his YouTube channel, Ngannou spoke about what he thinks went wrong for Gane at UFC 270.
“The weak spot, I hoped that before the fight was that he’d really listen and believe to what they were saying in the media,” Ngannou said. “He did believe everything in the media was saying at some point, and that’s why even at the press conference or at the faceoff face-to-face, I’m like ‘I really like you, don’t just let this get in your mind’. Not only for this fight, because what would’ve happened if he won this fight? Then they would keep telling him the same thing until he face the same situation with somebody.”
Gane has hinted that he hopes Ngannou will stay with the UFC long-term so that he can get a potential rematch in the future. Ngannou is expected to miss a majority of 2022 after undergoing surgery on his injured knee.
In the meantime, the UFC could potentially schedule another interim title fight later this year. Gane could win a pair of fights and work his way back to potential vengeance against Ngannou.
What do you think is next for Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane?