Top heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane will battle former light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones for the vacant 265-pound strap, abandoned by ex-champion Francis Ngannou when “The Predator” set sail for greener pastures.
Gane recently expressed his displeasure with the timeline of the Jones fight, which didn’t get signed until early January. That left “Bon Gamin” with less than two months to prepare for one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.
It’s the truth, not an excuse, according to coach Fernand Lopez.
“I don’t know why people are surprised when Ciryl is saying that,” Lopez told MMA Junkie. “He didn’t have enough time. He’s not trying to have any excuse. He’s not saying any excuse. He’s being truthful saying that. A camp, usually a camp when we do a camp is like three months, right? But we didn’t have three months, because when they announced the fight we had less than two months. That’s what he’s saying.”
Gane, 32, rebounded from a decision loss to Ngannou by planishing heavyweight hurter Tai Tuivasa at UFC Paris last fall, improving his record to 11-1 with eight finishes. “Bon Gamin” looks to become the first fighter to stop “Bones” under the UFC banner.
Just don’t put too much stock into all that “lazy” talk.
“This time we had to make it different, work to maintain the stamina, to maintain the strength that he had during the time that we didn’t have a fight,” Lopez continued. “Even when he was injured, he kept training on the strength and conditioning. So, I’m not worried about that. What he’s saying is not any excuse, try to prepare an excuse like if he lost, in case he lost because he didn’t train. That’s bullsh*t.”
Jones, 35, spent the better part of three years sitting on the sidelines following a bitter contract dispute. “Bones” — who hasn’t seen action since squeaking by Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 — recently re-upped for another eight fights inside the Octagon.
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