Ciryl Gane ‘Really Comfortable’ Fighting Ex-Training Partner Francis Ngannou for Title

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jun 27, 2021


For the second consecutive fight, Ciryl Gane went 25 minutes with a dangerous opponent and emerged with a unanimous decision triumph.

After defeating Jarizinho Rozenstruik in the UFC Fight Night 186 headliner this past February, “Bon Gamin” outclassed Alexander Volkov in the UFC Fight Night 190 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“We are comfortable with 25 minutes … I’m really happy with everything that’s happening at this moment,” Gane said. “We did it twice. Two main events, two wins, I’m really happy.”

While the Rozenstruik matchup was criticized for its lack of action, Gane believes he pushed the pace more effectively against Volkov. The statistics seem to support that notion, as the Frenchman landed 135 signficant strikes in the bout — the seventh most ever in a UFC heavyweight fight.

“For the main event, people want a show,” Gane said. “Today I think I made a little bit more pressure … We were really prepared for his performance. Volkov is a big guy, really tough, really heavy, taller than me, he has good kicks, good striking too. The fight was really balanced, and I’m really happy about that.”

Gane is unbeaten in nine professional outings since beginning his MMA career in 2018. That includes a 6-0 mark in the UFC, with triumphs over the likes of Volkov, Rozenstruik, Junior dos Santos and Tanner Boser. The 31-year-old is confident that he has done enough in the division to receive a heavyweight title shot.

“I think today I proved it,” Gane said. “I don’t need another fight for the title shot. I think this guy Volkov was a really great challenge to prove it, and I proved it. I did it. So, tomorrow, yes, if the UFC want to match me for the title shot, I’m ready.”

At the moment, the UFC is expected to book a heavyweight title tilt between reigning champion Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. Gane and Ngannou have a history, as both men trained at the MMA Factory. Today, though, Gane says he has no problem squaring off against his former sparring partner, who has since relocated to Las Vegas, where he works at Xtreme Couture and the UFC Performance Institute.

“I’m comfortable about this matchup if this matchup is going to happen,” Gane said. “It was a shame before the title. Now, for the title, I’m really comfortable with this situation, because we’re not in the same gym. If we’re going to fight for the belt, this is beautiful for me, for him, for my coach, and the MMA Factory.”

Of course, there is always the possibility that the UFC reaches terms with Jon Jones for a move to heavyweight, which could further delay the heavyweight title picture. Regardless, Gane doesn’t seem interested in taking another fight to stay busy in the meantime.

“I think we can wait,” Gane said. “This will give us time to improve in some department of myself. So I can wait, and I have a baby coming next month.”

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