Ciryl Gane acknowledges the punching power that Francis Ngannou possesses, but it is something he is prepared to deal with when they likely share the Octagon at UFC 270 early next year.
The fight between Gane and Ngannou is one of the most intriguing in the heavyweight division, as both men have specific qualities that pose a serious threat to one another. The ‘Predator’ brings power and refined wrestling ability, while ‘Bon Gamin’ boasts speed and unique footwork.
Gane already has experience with one of those qualities from Ngannou, his former sparring partner at the MMA Factory. He recently spoke with Submission Radio and revealed that he was not concerned with the power of his opponent because of that past exposure. Gane said it was somewhat similar to that of Derrick Lewis, who is also known for his reputation of being a feared knockout artist. Gane avoided much of the attacks from Lewis and defeated him by way of third-round technical knockout to capture the interim heavyweight title at UFC 265 this past August.
“No, every time, this is not scaring me,” said Gane. “You see with Derrick Lewis, he had big knockout power too. Derrick Lewis is a beast too. But it was not a problem. When you look at the fight, I stayed inside like that with his punches. It was not a problem. A heavyweight like me, I can punch too like that with a big transfer. But no, it’s not a problem for me. This is really not scaring me.”
Gane then explained why he feels so confident going up against Ngannou. The familiarity should help, but it is not the only advantage he says he has over the reigning heavyweight champion.
“I’ve got the fight IQ, and maybe my footwork too,” said Gane. “He is an athlete too, he has good speed. He has good cardio too. Maybe not exactly [more] than me, because maybe he’s heavier than me or something like that, but he’s a good athlete. But maybe my footwork and my fight IQ. I’m very confident in my fight IQ. That’s why every time I go, I go head to the cage, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m really confident because I know this is going to help me. Every time.”
Gane finished by sharing his prediction for the fight, which he admitted will be tough. However, he stated that he believes he will emerge victorious after five rounds to earn a decision.
Gane and Ngannou are expected to headline the upcoming UFC 270 pay-per-view event scheduled for Jan. 22 at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
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