Ciryl Gane won't lean on training history with Francis Ngannou in unifier: 'The fight is another thing'

HOUSTON – Ciryl Ganedoesn’t think his history with Francis Ngannou will give him any special advantages going into their UFC heavyweight championship unification bout. Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) claimed the interim belt on Saturday when he outclassed Derrick Lewis to a third-round TKO victory in the UFC 265 headliner, which took place at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was one-sided from beginning to end, and put him in position to face Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) next. It will be a fascinating build to the title unifier: Gane and Ngannou used to be training partners at MMA Factory in France and both were groomed by the same coach, Fernand Lopez. It’s been a few years since Ngannou was in the gym. He relocated to Las Vegas and now trains out of Xtreme Couture. There’s been a lot of evolution in the skill set of both men since they last shared a training room, but no matter how much improvement happens, the sense of familiarity between the two sides will forever remain. Gane won’t rely on that experience when he eventually fights Ngannou, though, he said. It’s one thing to throw punches in a controlled environment like the gym, but Gane said it’s a whole other ball game when the cameras are on, the world is watching and the stakes are real. “Training is something, but the fight is another thing,” Gane told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 265 post-fight news conference. “(I will) not (be) surprised – everyone knows Francis’ strengths. Everyone knows my strengths. We’ll see.” Despite 'blurring vision' at UFC 265, Ciryl Gane happy he made good on masterclass predictionDana White on Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane: 'F*cking Vince couldn't have wrote a better script for this'Francis Ngannou sends message to Ciryl Gane after UFC 265: 'See you soon boy'Ngannou was watching the UFC 265 headliner closely and sent a message to Gane in the aftermath of his win, stating that he would see him “soon.” It was a largely respectful comment, and Gane said he expects that to set the tone for what the build to their bout will look like. Despite Ngannou leaving the gym on his terms, Gane said there’s no ill will toward his former teammate. He shut down the narrative there could be any beef between them, and he said he will act professionally in the lead up to fight night. “For me, it’s just a sport,” Gane said. “It’s just a sport. I just want to make a show. I just want to make a performance. This is my job, and I just want to make money.” [embedded content] Gane will likely make the biggest payday of his career when the time does come for him to unify the belts with Ngannou. When will that be? Gane said he’s not entirely sure. UFC president Dana White said post-fight that he would like to see the matchup happen as soon as possible, but fitting it in the 2021 calendar might be pushing it. Gane said he’s expecting his next child to be born sometime in the next few weeks. He wants to enjoy that experience with his family and the aftermath that comes with it, but once he’s settled, Gane said he’ll be ready to go. “Some people ask me about the end of this year – it’s possible,” Gane said. “But yes, I did a lot in the last one and a half years. I’m waiting for a baby and I just want to rest a little bit. Maybe a few months. Then we’ll see.” List Twitter reacts to Ciryl Gane's dominant TKO of Derrick Lewis for interim belt at UFC 265 Gallery Ciryl Gane def. Derrick Lewis at UFC 265: Best photos view 57 images List UFC 265 post-event facts: Ciryl Gane's beatdown of Derrick Lewis sets record numbers

Ciryl Gane won't lean on training history with Francis Ngannou in unifier: 'The fight is another thing'

HOUSTON – Ciryl Ganedoesn’t think his history with Francis Ngannou will give him any special advantages going into their UFC heavyweight championship unification bout.

Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) claimed the interim belt on Saturday when he outclassed Derrick Lewis to a third-round TKO victory in the UFC 265 headliner, which took place at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was one-sided from beginning to end, and put him in position to face Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) next.

It will be a fascinating build to the title unifier: Gane and Ngannou used to be training partners at MMA Factory in France and both were groomed by the same coach, Fernand Lopez. It’s been a few years since Ngannou was in the gym. He relocated to Las Vegas and now trains out of Xtreme Couture.

There’s been a lot of evolution in the skill set of both men since they last shared a training room, but no matter how much improvement happens, the sense of familiarity between the two sides will forever remain.

Gane won’t rely on that experience when he eventually fights Ngannou, though, he said. It’s one thing to throw punches in a controlled environment like the gym, but Gane said it’s a whole other ball game when the cameras are on, the world is watching and the stakes are real.

“Training is something, but the fight is another thing,” Gane told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 265 post-fight news conference. “(I will) not (be) surprised – everyone knows Francis’ strengths. Everyone knows my strengths. We’ll see.”

Ngannou was watching the UFC 265 headliner closely and sent a message to Gane in the aftermath of his win, stating that he would see him “soon.” It was a largely respectful comment, and Gane said he expects that to set the tone for what the build to their bout will look like.

Despite Ngannou leaving the gym on his terms, Gane said there’s no ill will toward his former teammate. He shut down the narrative there could be any beef between them, and he said he will act professionally in the lead up to fight night.

“For me, it’s just a sport,” Gane said. “It’s just a sport. I just want to make a show. I just want to make a performance. This is my job, and I just want to make money.”

[embedded content]

Gane will likely make the biggest payday of his career when the time does come for him to unify the belts with Ngannou. When will that be? Gane said he’s not entirely sure.

UFC president Dana White said post-fight that he would like to see the matchup happen as soon as possible, but fitting it in the 2021 calendar might be pushing it.

Gane said he’s expecting his next child to be born sometime in the next few weeks. He wants to enjoy that experience with his family and the aftermath that comes with it, but once he’s settled, Gane said he’ll be ready to go.

“Some people ask me about the end of this year – it’s possible,” Gane said. “But yes, I did a lot in the last one and a half years. I’m waiting for a baby and I just want to rest a little bit. Maybe a few months. Then we’ll see.”

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