UFC 270: What Makes Ciryl Gane Unique?

Ciryl Gane is one of those fighters that breaks the mold: he doesn’t move like a heavyweight, he doesn’t talk trash, he gets in the octagon and he dismantles some of the heaviest hitters in the UFC’s Heavyweight division including ‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis in order to win interim gold at UFC 265. Now, Gane looks to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion as he has task of facing former training partner Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 on January 22nd.

But, what makes ‘Bon Gamin’ so special? He’s an undefeated 10-0 mixed martial artist, yet how did that come to be? One part of Gane’s game that’s consistently been lauded by fighters and media alike is his ability to ‘move like a welterweight’ as Joe Rogan mentioned in his preview of the fight. While he has that 10-0 record in MMA, he also has a career kickboxing record of 13-0, with plenty of experience in striking movement. The biggest question regarding Gane’s slide-in, slide-out style is whether or not Gane can avoid the power of ‘The Predator?’ Ngannou doesn’t believe that Gane has the toughness to beat him, but toughness may not factor into the decision if Ngannou fails to land his kill shot on the interim title holder.

Gane is no stranger to fighting powerhouse strikers. As previousy mentioned, he won his interim title by defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC 265. However, Gane’s UFC win streak stretches back seven fights, including wins over perennial contender Alexander Volkov, kickboxing specialist Jairzinho Rozenstruik and former champion Junior dos Santos. In fact, that was the final fight dos Santos had in UFC before transitioning to Tony Khan’s All Elite Wrestling with Dan Lambert and American Top Team. His perfect record reflects three submissions, including an arm triangle in his UFC debut. Gane hs proen that he has the submission game to cause Ngannou problems, but does he have the wrestling game required to take the champion down? Stipe Miocic was able to get Francis down with ease in their first fight, however struggled in the second fight, even giving up a takedown to the now heavyweight champion.

If grappling is not an option for Gane, we return to the idea of him attempting to kickbox and managing distance with Ngannou. If history has thought us anything, as former Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier articulated after Ngannou’s win, ‘if you go into the fire with Ngannou, you go to sleep’. Ngannou isn’t always the most technical of strikers, but he will swing like a wild man if necessary, as we saw in the Rozenstruik fight. Gane’s striking gameplan will be simple: slipping in and out of range, counter striking Francis at any opportunity. It will certainly be interesting to see if Gane can implement his game against a phenom like Francis Ngannou. We will find out this Saturday night at UFC 270 from Anaheim, California.