Another action-packed weekend of fights has come and gone as UFC 270 went down last Sat. (Jan. 22, 2022) inside Honda Center in Anaheim. California. Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Brandon Moreno, who lost his Flyweight title to Deiveson Figueiredo in their trilogy bout (see it here).
And Cody Stamann, who suffered his third straight defeat after he was submitted by Said Nurmagomedov in just 47 seconds. But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining title fight against his former training partner and division king, Francis Ngannou, Gane was riding high of his knockout win over Derrick Lewis, which earned him the interim title and his tenth straight win. Plus, since he spent some time training with “The Predator,” Gane had a bit of an idea what to expect come fight night.
What I don’t think he was prepared for, though, was Ngannou’s grappling.
For the first few rounds, Gane was executing a beautiful gameplan, sticking and moving to avoid the champion’s huge bombs that have left a trail of destruction in the Octagon. After the first few rounds, it seemed as if “Bon Gamin” has the perfect blueprint to walk away with a win. Especially because it Ngannou was already breathing heavy.
But then, the tides slowly started turning in Ngannou’s favor after a big slam. From there, the 265-pound champion started opening up his strikes and mixing in more takedowns to take control of the pace. After 25 minutes, “The Predator” had done enough to unify the titles to once again become the undisputed king of the big men.
While the loss was a tough blow for the Frenchman, it may not be as bad as it seems depending on how everything works out with UFC and Ngannou. The two sides will likely have several meeting in the coming months to see if they can come to some sort of contract extension that will keep all involved happen, especially “The Predator.”
“If he leaves like that, I don’t want that,” Gane said at the evening’s post-fight press conference. “I want my rematch. I want to do this fight a second time. I want this fight, I want this rematch. All the stories around this fight were just stories and it was not a burden for me, I was just focused on my target. If we have a rematch, I’m gonna be focused, but I’m gonna improve on my weaknesses.”
Should that not happen and Ngannou opt to sit out a year to let his contract expire after it was automatically extended due to the promotion’s championship clause, that’s when things will get very interesting for the 265-pound division, in particular Gane.
UFC could very well agree to let Ngannou walk if he’s not happy, though that is unlikely to happen. But if it does, then the title will be vacated, paving the way for Gane to step right back in for another title fight, perhaps against former Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
If Gane opts to fight again before UFC and Ngannou resolve their issues, then perhaps a fight against former 265-pound champion Stipe Miocic is in order. Not much has been heard or seen from Stipe since he got knocked out by Ngannou almost a year ago.
Miocic desperately wants another chance to win his belt back, and taking out Gane would be a sure-fire way to get back in there sooner, rather than later. And the same goes for Gane. After all, It’s not like the top half of the Heavyweight division is screaming with contenders on great win streaks worthy enough to earn a title shot.
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