UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou was recently interviewed by TMZ Sports ahead of his UFC 270 title defense vs Interim Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane on January 22nd. ‘The Predator’ refused to pull any punches when asked how he saw the fight ending:
“I will not be searching for the knockout but I don’t see how we will end this fight without me knocking him out, maybe under two rounds, Because he’s not as tough as Stipe [Miocic]. I know the guy pretty good, you know. He can’t eat as much pressure as Stipe. So as soon as we get like to a close exchange, I don’t think there will be any chance to get out of there.”
It’s evident by the champion’s words that despite taking the title from Miocic in a brutal KO win in their second meeting back at UFC 260, as many may remember, the Cleveland native was the first to hand Ngannou a loss in the UFC with a technical, wrestling heavy game plan that sent ‘The Predator’ once again back to the drawing board. It was in this bout that fans saw the toughness and grit that the former Heavyweight Champion has, taking huge shots in the first and second rounds. On the contrary, we have not seen Gane absorb a lot of damage in the UFC.
His interim title winning performance vs Derrick Lewis was a masterpiece of counter striking, however, we did not get to see through the looking glass to see if what Ngannou believes is true. The question remains: Is Gane going to be able to take the champions best shot? We’ll find out on January 22nd as Ngannou battles Gane on pay-per-view.