Interim UFC heavyweight champion, Ciryl ‘Bon Gamin’ Gane appears to remain unmoved regarding the punching power of fellow champion, Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou ahead of the pair’s title unification bout at UFC 270 on January 22.
Headlining the pay-per-view event, Ngannou, and Gane, briefly former training partners at MMA Factory, take main event status in January on the promotion’s first flagship event of the year — as part of a championship doubleheader as flyweight rivals, Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo round out their trilogy with gold on the line.
Entering the bout as the interim heavyweight titleholder, undefeated French technician, Gane managed to scoop interim spoils back in August against common-foe, Derrick Lewis — defeating the promotion’s most prolific heavyweight knockout artist with a one-sided third round knockout of his own in Houston, Texas at UFC 265.
For Ngannou, the Cameroonian finally landed the undisputed heavyweight title back in March at UFC 260 — stopping two-time champion and foe, Stipe Miocic with a thunderous second round knockout win. Despite his brief title reign, the promotion elected to introduce a much debated and criticized interim title for the abovementioned August pay-per-view event at the Toyota Center.
Gane, who briefly trained alongside Ngannou under the tutelage of the renowned Fernand Lopez at the MMA Factory in Paris, explained during a recent interview with Submission Radio that although Ngannou is revered as one of the scariest punchers in the history of the sport, his power doesn’t exactly irk him.
“This is not scaring me,” Gane said whilst discussing Ngannou’s power. “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.“
The elusive Gane managed to avoid almost all of Lewis’ significant output en route to his third round victory — extending his undefeated run to 10 straight fights, following prior notable successes against Alexander Volkov, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Junior dos Santos, and Tanner Boser.
Batie native Ngannou landed his stunning twelfth separate professional knockout win back in March with his massive knockout of Miocic — adding to a four-fight run which included stoppages of Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, as well as common-opposition, dos Santos and Rozenstruik.
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