There's always a special feeling in the air when there’s a fight for the Heavyweight Championship. The baddest man on the planet has the ability to defeat any fighter in the world regardless of weight. At UFC 270 this weekend, we’ll witness one of the most compelling Heavyweight fights in UFC history.
We'll witness the scariest Heavyweight of all time versus the most technical Heavyweight of all time.
Francis NGannou versus Ciryl Gane.
NGannou and Gane both started their careers at the MMA Factory in Paris, France under the tutelage of Fernand Lopez. They came from the same place, but their journeys to this fight have been different.
The Summer of 2018 was a pivotal time for both fighters. Ciryl Gane made his professional MMA debut on August 2nd, 2018. That was 26 days after Francis NGannou lost to Derrick Lewis. NGannou was at a crossroads in his career and Gane was just beginning his.
It was in this year that NGannou lost back to back fights against Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis. He had opposite performances in these fights. In his first fight against Miocic, NGannou was too reckless. In his fight against Lewis, he couldn’t pull the trigger. The fear of getting exhausted like he did against Miocic carried into his fight against Lewis.
NGannou apologized after the fight and promised he wouldn't let anyone down again. He needed to find a balance between being too reckless and being too timid and that's what he did. He transformed himself as a fighter and took a more measured approach. We saw the differences immediately in his rematch against Stipe Miocic where he finally became the UFC Heavyweight Champion. You can truly see a fighter’s improvements when they compete against someone they previously lost to.
NGannou didn’t go all out in the rematch like he did in the first fight. He fought tactically and was rewarded for it. When Francis NGannou became the Heavyweight Champion, it seemed as if we were entering a new era in the Heavyweight division. Then out of nowhere came Ciryl Gane who was the next secret weapon of Fernand Lopez.
There’s never been a Heavyweight fighter with the technical striking ability of Ciryl Gane. He’s hard to hit, he's agile, and he moves like a Welterweight. Gane quietly climbed the ranks of the Heavyweight division while NGannou ascended to the title.
One of Gane's most impressive wins came against Alexander Volkov who's one of the best pure strikers in the Heavyweight division. Gane tactically dismantled Volkov for 5 rounds. After this fight, Gane was offered an opportunity to compete for the interim UFC Heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis while NGannou was going through contract issues outside the Octagon. It was in this fight where we saw how good Ciryl Gane really is. He looked untouchable against Derrick Lewis.
Not only is Ciryl Gane undefeated, he's never even been in danger in his 10 professional fights. He'll now fight the most dangerous of them all.
Championships, contracts, and egos.
There's a lot on the line in this fight. On top of all that, it's the best pure Heavyweight matchup in years and it takes place this Saturday at UFC 270. If you haven't done so yet, lock in your picks on Verdict.