UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou saw his title become disputed last year when Ciryl Gane was awarded the interim UFC heavyweight belt with a win over Derrick Lewis. That interim title bout came after Ngannou campaigned for a blockbuster bout with Jon Jones, which the UFC refused to green-light (due to both men’s pay demands).
Ngannou will face Gane in a title reunification bout at next weekend’s UFC 270. And there’s plenty of history between them. They used to train together at Paris’ MMA Factory. Ngannou split from that outfit and has since had some choice words for former coach Fernand Lopez. Lopez, who will be cornering Gane, has also had plenty to say about Ngannou.
Though there’s a lot of drama around this match-up, Ngannou has been asked some technical questions about the fight. Recently, with TMZ Sports, Ngannou discussed how he saw the bout going (and ending).
It’s safe to say he’s pretty confident in his ability to stop the undefeated Gane.
“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,” he said (ht sportskeeda). “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.”
Ngannou won his title in a KO win over Miocic a year ago. His emphatic victory over the former champion came two years after Miocic handed Ngannou his first UFC loss. Back in their first contest, Miocic out-worked ‘The Predator’ for a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
After the Miocic loss Ngannou dropped another uninspiring decision, this time to Derrick Lewis. However, since then, he has been on a tear knocking out every opponent he’s faced.
Gane joined the UFC in 2019 and has been perfect in seven appearances. Last year be beat Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Alexander Volkov and Lewis to set up his date with Ngannou.