Francis Ngannou Thinks The Hype Got To Ciryl Gane Before UFC 270

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou thinks the pre-UFC 270 hype got in Ciryl Gane’s head ahead of their fight. Ngannou earned a unanimous decision win at UFC 270 over Gane, but it was anything but easy. Entering the cage with a significant knee injury, Ngannou didn’t use his striking as much and instead utilized his…

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UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou thinks the pre-UFC 270 hype got in Ciryl Gane’s head ahead of their fight.

Ngannou earned a unanimous decision win at UFC 270 over Gane, but it was anything but easy. Entering the cage with a significant knee injury, Ngannou didn’t use his striking as much and instead utilized his improved grappling, especially in the later rounds.

Ngannou vs. Gane was arguably the most highly-anticipated heavyweight title clash in UFC history. While the fight itself wasn’t as much of a barn-burner as many expected, it was a technical showcase from both fighters.

The pre-fight hype included the relationship between Ngannou and his former MMA Factory head coach, Fernand Lopez, along with his past sparring sessions with Gane. Many believed Gane had the perfect skillset to dethrone Ngannou, especially on the feet.

During a recent Q+A on his YouTube channel, Ngannou spoke about what he thinks went wrong for Gane at UFC 270.

“The weak spot, I hoped that before the fight was that he’d really listen and believe to what they were saying in the media,” Ngannou said. “He did believe everything in the media was saying at some point, and that’s why even at the press conference or at the faceoff face-to-face, I’m like ‘I really like you, don’t just let this get in your mind’. Not only for this fight, because what would’ve happened if he won this fight? Then they would keep telling him the same thing until he face the same situation with somebody.”

Gane has hinted that he hopes Ngannou will stay with the UFC long-term so that he can get a potential rematch in the future. Ngannou is expected to miss a majority of 2022 after undergoing surgery on his injured knee.

In the meantime, the UFC could potentially schedule another interim title fight later this year. Gane could win a pair of fights and work his way back to potential vengeance against Ngannou.

What do you think is next for Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane?

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Gane: I Had A Better Striking & Ground Game Than Ngannou At UFC 270

Despite falling to defeat against Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane believes he displayed better striking and groundwork than “The Predator” at UFC 270. In the opening pay-per-view main event of 2022, then-interim titleholder Gane and reigning heavyweight king Ngannou met for a blockbuster unification showdown. As well as their own brief history training together at Paris’…

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Despite falling to defeat against Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane believes he displayed better striking and groundwork than “The Predator” at UFC 270.

In the opening pay-per-view main event of 2022, then-interim titleholder Gane and reigning heavyweight king Ngannou met for a blockbuster unification showdown.

As well as their own brief history training together at Paris’ MMA Factory gym, narratives surrounding the champ’s feud with Fernand Lopez, his desire to meet Tyson Fury in the boxing ring, and his ongoing contractual dispute with the UFC loomed large over the event.

Under that pressure, the Cameroonian held firm, delivering a comeback performance that meant a lot more than simply retaining his heavyweight gold.

While Gane had started strong, taking the opening two rounds with his evasive and technical striking on the scorecards of most fans and pundits, it was Ngannou’s strength and imposing top game that saw the final three frames fall in his favor.

But despite spending many minutes on his back in the later rounds and failing to overcome the champ’s wrestling, Gane believes he was “better” in all aspects beyond power.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, “Bon Gamin” suggested he displayed better technique on the feet and on the ground, citing his ability to prevent Ngannou’s ground-and-pound and submission attempts as evidence.

“I think I was better with my striking, and I was better on the ground game too,” said Gane. “Because if you see, he catch me and kick me. It was difficult for him to do some ground-and-pound or some submission because my technique is good, you see? And it was more about the power and the plan.

“He used the power for the wrestling. Unfortunately, it was about two seconds when he catch me just on my ribs, behind my ribs,” added Gane. “After that, it’s more complicated to go out with the power of Francis, that’s why I went down. After that, he leave his body on me. He don’t do too much. This is respect for him still because he don’t need to do much… It was just a little mistake. For me, I was better on the striking (and) on the ground game. But, for me, I know this is a little bit strange to say, but I was better on my wrestling too; if you compare the technique. That’s why I’m okay (with the loss).”

Gane: Herb Dean Should Have Stood The Fight Up In The 5th Round

Despite his disappointment and belief that he edged most realms of the fight, Gane has consistently given credit to Ngannou for executing his game plan.

While he continued to do that during his conversation with Ariel Helwani, the Frenchman did suggest referee Herb Dean perhaps should have stood the pair up during Ngannou’s lengthy period of low-activity top control in the fifth round.

“When you have a big guy like Francis on your chest, if you want to go away, if you want to stand up, that’s not a good plan; to push the guy (up like a rep),” said Gane. “I don’t want to do that with Francis. So I was waiting for a good position to stand up. That’s what the regret is more like, the referee in the fifth round. The referee, for me, he take his time to stand up the fight a little bit.

“I looked, I connect the eye with the referee like, ‘Okay, let’s go, let’s go, stand up please, look.’ So that’s why this is a little regret. But he (Ngannou) did very well. Congratulations to Francis,” concluded Gane.

While it’s uncertain whether or not the pair will meet inside the Octagon again or if Ngannou will share the cage with anyone else in the UFC, it would certainly be interesting to see how Gane would go about adjusting to deal with the one area he believes led to him falling short at UFC 270: Ngannou’s strength and power.

What did you make of Ciryl Gane’s performance against Francis Ngannou at UFC 270? Do you agree with the Frenchman’s assessment?

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Ciryl Gane Doesn’t Regret Going For Leg Lock Against Francis Ngannou

Ciryl Gane, Francis NgannouFormer UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane believes he made the right decision to go for a leg lock late in his fight against Francis Ngannou at UFC 270. Gane got off to a good start against Ngannou at UFC 270, arguably winning the first two rounds with relative ease. But, Ngannou began to find […]

Ciryl Gane, Francis Ngannou

Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane believes he made the right decision to go for a leg lock late in his fight against Francis Ngannou at UFC 270.

Gane got off to a good start against Ngannou at UFC 270, arguably winning the first two rounds with relative ease. But, Ngannou began to find his rhythm with his wrestling in the later rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.

In what was expected to be a striking showcase between Gane and Ngannou, a majority of the fight took place on the ground. This was mostly due in part to Ngannou’s knee injury he suffered leading up to the bout.

In the final round against Ngannou, Gane went for a leg lock submission with just minutes left in the fight. Ngannou was able to move out of it and resume top position.

Some criticized Gane and his team for this strategy, stating that it wasn’t the correct route to pulling off a late win.

During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Gane explained what went into the decision to attempt a late submission on Ngannou.

Ciryl Gane Explains Decision To Try To Leg Lock Francis Ngannou

“No, because I was really sure,” Gane said. “You see, this technique for me, I can do that on everybody that I have in my gym. High-level wrestling, high-level BJJ, and I can do it. I’m really comfortable on this technique, so that’s why I decided to do that, because I know the position was really good for me to go on this technique. I was really good. I was sure to finish the fight, in my mind.

“That’s why no regrets. Just I was a little bit tired, so that’s why I don’t do exactly the good thing, but [makes ‘so close’ gesture with fingers] no, that’s OK.”

Gane earned the heavyweight title shot after defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. He and Ngannou were teammates in the past at MMA Factory in Paris.

It’s unclear when Gane will return to the octagon, but he’s looking to build off of the lessons learned at UFC 270 to work back to the title picture.

Who do you want to see Ciryl Gane fight next?

UFC 271: Adesanya vs. Whittaker II Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights

The UFC 271 pre-fight press conference took place earlier tonight, and we’ve got the highlights for you right here! UFC 271 takes place Saturday, February 12, 2022, from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The co-main event will feature a middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. In the co-main event, Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa…

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The UFC 271 pre-fight press conference took place earlier tonight, and we’ve got the highlights for you right here!

UFC 271 takes place Saturday, February 12, 2022, from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The co-main event will feature a middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. In the co-main event, Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa will square up and bang it out in front of a worldwide audience and, for “The Black Beast”, a hometown crowd.

Each of the above fighters was in attendance during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference. Here were some of the most memorable moments from the event.

The Arrivals

Memorable Moments

Extended Highlights & Face-Offs

Notes

Here are a few notable moments not covered in the above highlights:

  • Adesanya says he still owns property in Robert Whittaker’s head
  • Adesanya vehemently defends Joe Rogan amid controversies, advises him to “Fuck the noise” and keep doing him. 
  • Dana White agreed to do a shoey, never does
  • Ngannou Negotiations Update: Dana White says that he had dinner with Ngannou before he left to Cameroon following UFC 270 and plans to have dinner with him again when he returns to the States.

Full Replay

Finally, if you’d like to experience the full UFC 271 pre-fight press conference uncut, you can do so right below!

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Moreno: Regaining Title Will Be For Myself, My Family & My Country

Brandon Moreno is even more fired up to regain the flyweight championship after his UFC 270 loss to Deiveson Figueiredo. At UFC 263, Brandon Moreno defeated Deiveson Figueiredo and became the first Mexican-born UFC champion. On January 22, “The Assassin Baby” had his first opportunity to defend the flyweight throne, but lost by a unanimous […]

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Brandon Moreno is even more fired up to regain the flyweight championship after his UFC 270 loss to Deiveson Figueiredo.

At UFC 263, Brandon Moreno defeated Deiveson Figueiredo and became the first Mexican-born UFC champion.

Brandon Moreno
Brandon Moreno at UFC 263, Photo Credit: Getty Images

On January 22, “The Assassin Baby” had his first opportunity to defend the flyweight throne, but lost by a unanimous decision. Figueiredo took back the belt, and now Moreno is more determined to win the championship.

But for Moreno, regaining the belt is about much more than owning the flyweight champion title. As Mexico’s first and only UFC champion, Moreno carries a lot of weight on his shoulders.

“Man, right now, my fire is like, wow, I feel like I’m more (hungry) right now in myself, and more right now because I lost the title. I need to fix something, I need to do something in my life. I want that title back. I’m hungry because I wanna do a lot of huge things in my life, for my family, for my country. Last fight (UFC 263), with the title, the mixed martial arts in Mexico grow a lot. I need to keep working on that. Obviously, I’m very, in some points, very selfish. I want to keep doing everything for myself and my family. But, if I can help my country to do something and help other kids to accomplish their dreams, I will,” Moreno told Teddy Atlas on The Fight.

And after such a close decision, 48-47 by all judges, we will more than likely be seeing Figueiredo vs Moreno 4.

Being the world champion comes with heavy responsibility, especially if you are the first in your country to accomplish it. Moreno shares that record with Kamaru Usman, who became Africa’s first UFC champion in 2019.

A champion has the power to promote positive change. People who grew up in a similar lifestyle or culture to Moreno now have someone to look up to because something they thought impossible has just been achieved.

And to balance training, family life, and being the world champion is no easy task, yet some fighters make it look easy.

Amanda Nunes, Kamaru Usman, Julianna Pena
Amanda Nunes, Kamaru Usman, Julianna Pena; Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC / Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC / Instagram

For example, Amanda Nunes and her wife have a baby girl. Kamaru Usman also has a wife and a daughter to build a future for. And Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Julianna Pena, is also a mom.

Now that Moreno has experienced failure and being a champion, reevaluating his focus could be what puts him back on top of his game.

Moreno V. Figueiredo

Brandon Moreno, Dana White, Deiveson Figueiredo
Brandon Moreno, Dana White, Deiveson Figueiredo; Photo Credit: UFC 270 face-off

Since 2020, Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo have only seen each other as opponents in the cage.

The flyweights spent 13 rounds together in the Octagon.

Their first fight at UFC 256 ended in a draw. They would fight again to settle the draw at UFC 263 in 2021. “The Assassin Baby” finished “Dues Da Guerra” by rear-naked choke in round 3 and became the new flyweight champion.

It was a major feat for himself and Mexico, which never saw a UFC champion until that moment.

Deiveson Figueiredo obviously wanted the belt back. Before UFC 270 began, the Brazilian let everyone know he wanted the trilogy to avenge his loss. And when their last bout was won by unanimous decision, the belt returned to Figureido.

Should this bout take place, it will be the first time in UFC history that two fighters compete against each other for a world title four times. But the question is, will the fight take place immediately, as their sequel and trilogy bouts did? That question remains unanswered.

How soon do you want to see Brandon Moreno fight Deiveson Figueiredo again for the flyweight belt?

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Ngannou: I Looked At Gane In The 3rd Round & Saw My 2018 Self

UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou was reminded of his first Stipe Miocic fight when he looked at Ciryl Gane midway through UFC 270. Ngannou made his first title defense against Gane in the UFC 270 main event, winning via unanimous decision. It wasn’t the striking showcase everyone expected, but the champion demonstrated his improved grappling […]

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UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou was reminded of his first Stipe Miocic fight when he looked at Ciryl Gane midway through UFC 270.

Ngannou made his first title defense against Gane in the UFC 270 main event, winning via unanimous decision. It wasn’t the striking showcase everyone expected, but the champion demonstrated his improved grappling skills to get the victory over Gane.

The first two rounds weren’t going in Ngannou’s favor according to two of the UFC 270 judges. However, he was able to turn the tide in Rounds 3 through 5 and control the path to retaining his belt.

Ngannou’s journey to the UFC title was anything but easy. After a difficult loss to Miocic at UFC 220, he would lose a lackluster bout against Derrick Lewis before going on his current six-fight winning streak.

Ngannou has alluded to his UFC 220 fight with Miocic as a completely different version of who he is today. During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, he revealed that Gane’s body language at the end of Round 3 reminded him of his former self.

“By the end of the round, I looked at him, I saw me when I fought Stipe the first time,” Ngannou said. “I’m like, ‘This guy is done.’ Yeah, and he wasn’t even able to listen to his coach. I was listening to his corner talk to him and he wasn’t reacting. I’m like, he’s done. That is exactly me when I fought Stipe the first time. That’s the moment that I knew I won the fight, at the end of the third round… He was broken, I could tell. I look him in his eyes and was like it’s a done deal.”

Francis Ngannou’s UFC Future Remains Uncertain

Ngannou went through quite the buildup to UFC 270. He’s been dealing with tense contract talks with UFC President Dana White and the promotion, and negotiations have seemingly hit a dead end.

This was further supported when White declined to put the belt around Ngannou as the official decision was read at UFC 270. White also was notably absent from post-fight media obligations, though White has since claimed external issues prevented him from carrying out these activities.

When asked by Helwani to forecast his future with the promotion, Ngannou remained cautiously optimistic. There are tears in the relationship with the UFC that need repair, and Ngannou seems hell-bent on getting the promotion back on his side.

What are your takeaways from Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane?

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