UFC's Ciryl Gane no qualms about facing ex-teammate Francis Ngannou

  • Tom Ward
Ciryl Gane Francis Ngannou

Ciryl Gane is not concerned about the potential prospect of facing Francis Ngannou after beating Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 190 on Saturday.  

The French UFC star put on the best performance of his career as he brushed aside the former Bellator heavyweight champion at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

And Gane could be pitted against Ngannou when he returns to the Octagon at some point later this year. 

Last year, the UFC heavyweight champion left MMA Factory following a public falling out with Gane’s trainer Fernand Lopez, who later said that Ngannou had trouble keeping his ego under control.

Now, a more experienced Gane has his eyes firmly set on adding the UFC heavyweight world title to his own collection – but will need to go through his former sparring partner to do so.

“I think today I proved it,” Gane said at the UFC post-fight press conference. “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.”

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Francis Ngannou

Where was Francis Ngannou born?

‘Bon Gamin’ beat Volkov in five rounds on Saturday to climb above Curtis Blaydes in the rankings and extend his record to nine straight wins since turning professional. 

However, the 31-year-old native of Paris, France, revealed he is not in a hurry and would rather bide his time and wait for a title shot rather than prematurely vie for the gold-plated strap. 

“I think we can wait,” said Gane. “This will give us time to improve in some department of myself.

“So I can wait, and I have a baby coming next month.”

Ciryl Gane

Gane (9-0), 31, is unbeaten in nine straight fights and is undefeated in six UFC fights. 

Ngannou (16-3) meanwhile however, has finished 12 opponents by way of knockout. 

Since entering the UFC, the 34-year-old has knocked out 10 opponents in just 13 outings.  

However, it appears that the two former sparring partners have a mutual respect for one another, and Gane admits that he has had to get used to the idea of fighting Ngannou.  

“I’m comfortable with this matchup if this matchup is going to happen,” he added. “Now, for title, I’m really comfortable with this situation because we was born in the same gym.

“Before, it was a little bit [uncomfortable], you know? Now I’m comfortable.

“We’re going to fight for the belt. This is beautiful for us, for me, for him and my coach.”

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