Dana White sizes up Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

    Dana White is well aware of the drama surrounding UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s title-unification bout against interim title holder Ciryl Gane. After all, the UFC president has been in the middle of it by publicly feuding with Ngannou’s manager over his contract situation.

    Even though that has been a focal point of attention in the buildup to Saturday’s UFC 270 headliner, White doesn’t believe it’ll ultimately impact the quality of the fight.

    “Whether you take all the negativity and drama that surrounds the fight, it’s all part of the storyline and all part of the fight,” White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. “You have the bad blood between these two. They both came from the same camp with the same trainer, all that stuff. But at the end of the day, the fight speaks for itself.”

    Consider some of the facts for a moment:

    • Ngannou (16-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) is on a five-fight winning streak; Gane (10-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) remains perfect in his MMA career.
    • Ngannou has a 100 percent finishing rate, earning all 16 of his career wins by stoppage, which includes 11 in the UFC.
    • Gane’s seven-fight UFC winning streak at heavyweight is the longest active streak in the division.

    Those are the facts, but there’s also what Ngannou and Gane have displayed for everyone to see. Ngannou has delivered some of the most devastating knockouts in UFC history, while Gane has looked so good that White considers him “arguably the greatest striker in the history of the heavyweight division.”

    What more could you ask for?

    “It’s not like this is one of those fights where you’ve got a knockout artist vs. a jiu-jitsu guy, the jiu-jitsu guy’s gotta get him down to the ground,” White said. “This is striker vs. striker, raw power vs. technique.”

    And who’d have thought Ngannou, one of the most feared fighters in UFC history, would be the betting underdog? According to the latest Tipico Sportsbook line, Ngannou is listed at +120, with Gane considered the favorite at -155.

    For White, the surprising betting odds are just another factor that makes Ngannou vs. Gane so great.

    “I love fights like this where you have this champion with this type of power, and the interim champion who’s coming in is actually the odds-on favorite to win,” White said, “That’s what makes this fight special. Some people get sucked in by the drama and the bad blood, but at the end of the day, this fight will absolutely, positively speak for itself.”

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