Dan Hardy sees Ciryl Gane finishing Francis Ngannou late

    Dan Hardy can see Ciryl Gane dragging Francis Ngannou into the later rounds and finishing him at UFC 270.

    A title unification bout between undisputed champion Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) and interim champ Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) headlines Saturday’s pay-per-view event in what is considered one of the biggest heavyweight fights in the promotion’s history.

    Ngannou has made quick work of the majority of his opponents, but if Gane can weather Ngannou’s early storm, Hardy sees him taking over late.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ciryl (win) by a late stoppage,” Hardy told Submission Radio. “I think he’s going to be able to frustrate Francis early. I think the first 90 seconds is an absolute coin toss. That’s the time in which Francis could close him down and knock him out pretty quickly. But as soon as that point passes, I think it immediately starts to lean towards Ciryl, and I think he’s going to be smart enough to know that and stay out of the way of the power.

    “Get into the later rounds where Francis now starts to look a little bit labored and a bit tired and then Ciryl will start to put the pressure on him. I think his elbows will be a big key. I think that flying knee that he has, as well that we saw against Volkov … I think he’ll feel confident to take those risks when Francis starts to look tired. I think we might see a fourth-round TKO or rear-naked choke with Francis on his knees, up against the fence and looking exhausted and a bit mentally broken.”

    Gane has reached five rounds twice in his career, scoring unanimous decision wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. Ngannou, on the other hand, has finished all 16 of his wins and has only gone 25 minutes once in a title fight loss to Stipe Miocic in 2018.


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