Ciryl Gane exclusive: Jon Jones was 'an inspiration to me when I started my career'

  • Tom Ward
Ciryl Gane reveals he modelled his game on Jon Jones as he prepares to fight Francis Ngannou

Ciryl Gane will be chasing greatness when he faces Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC 270 on Saturday night. 

Gane, 31, has an unbeaten record of 10-0 and is considered one of the best MMA fighters in the world with a resume full of highlight reel finishes.  

And now the Frenchman has revealed how he modelled himself on Jon Jones when he started his career.

Of course, a matchup with Jones seems inevitable, and welcomed by Gane himself, who says he would accept it in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.   

“Even if I lose, I think this fight can happen, because a lot of fans and media talk about this fight because you have a really good matchup,” Gane told

“Jon Jones was an inspiration to me when I started my career. Not a hero per se, but a model, and an inspiration as a fighter. 

“Jon Jones is very well-rounded, I want to be this kind of fighter, so yeah I’m very interested in this fight.”

Ciryl Gane is the current UFC interim heavyweight champion

The heavyweight landscape is arguably as intriguing as it has ever been. 

And Gane – who knocked out Derrick Lewis less than six months ago in August of last year – is leading the charge for the next wave of MMA fighters which includes Tom Aspinall and Chris Daukaus.

He added: “I love my generation. I think just behind me there are a lot of future stars. Like, I like to say his name, but Tom Aspinall is a really good fighter.

“I really appreciate his style, he’s really, really well-rounded. Daukaus as well, but unfortunately he just lost to Derrick Lewis, I don’t know how Derrick does this, but every time he does.

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Jon Jones

Where was Jon Jones born?

“We have a lot of names when we talk about the new generation just behind me and I think they are the future of the division.”

Gane, who holds the UFC interim heavyweight title, also spoke highly of his teammate Nassourdine Imavov. 

Imavov, 25, is 11-3 and trains with Gane and his team at MMA Factory in Paris under coach Fernand Lopez. He is currently expected to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 273 on April 9. 

When asked if Imavov could challenge Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title later this year, Gane concluded: “Everything is possible with this guy. I’m a really fast learner because I can see the potential in people and for me Nassourdine Imavov is the future. I really think everything is possible.

“For me, he’s going to win this fight against Gastelum, and after that everything is possible. 

“He could do another fight this summer and then at the end of this year.” 

Watch Ciryl Gane try to become undisputed UFC heavyweight champion as he faces Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 this Saturday on January 22. Early prelims start at 11pm, with the main card starting at 3am, live on BT Sport 2

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