Francis Ngannou will finally get to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title when he takes on current interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane, in the main event of UFC 270 on Jan. 22, 2022, in Anaheim, California.
The two men used to train together, but had a falling out after “The Predator” switched camps ... or was kicked out. And as evidenced by this video, the two men aren’t very fond of each other. Still, it’s because of their past training sessions that former 265-pound title-holder, Fabricio Werdum, firmly believes that Gane will come out on top.
“It’s a very good match up because both used to train together before,” Werdum told MMA Junkie. “There was that one video that had came out of their sparring, and the Frenchman looked better. The champion Francis Ngannou is very good, obviously. He’s very strong, and he’s very impressive,” he added, before saying Ngannou hasn’t shown he is a complete fighter.
“I don’t find him to be a very complete fighter, but he’s the champion, so it’s hard to criticize him. I do believe he lacks on the ground. But maybe the Frenchman also lacks on the ground. We haven’t seen him, so it could be a fight on the feet.”
Of course, Ngannou has made a reputation for himself as a one-punch knockout artist, which helped him win the title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. But, Gane isn’t a slouch on the feet himself and he doesn’t fight with emotion when compared to his former training partner.
At least that’s according to Werdum’s assessment.
“I think Gane can surprise Ngannou because they used to train together and Gane is very conscious, fights well and calm. Ngannou is calm, but he can be a bit emotional. He’s going to have to watch out,” he added. “It’s going to be a very good fight, but I put my money on the Frenchman. I think so. He’s intelligent, calm, controls the fight, manages distance well. I don’t think he’ll knock out Ngannou, but I see him winning on points.”
Gane earned the interim title by defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 via unanimous decision. The victory upped the Frenchman’s record to 10-0 after making his professional debut just three years ago.
Now, Gane can become the undisputed Heavyweight champion in just his eighth fight with the promotion if he can take out a man he once helped get to the Promised Land.
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