Ciryl Gane and Francis Ngannou headlined the event in January of 2022. To the surprise of everyone, Ngannou utilized a wrestling heavy gameplan to capitalize and win – and having never used takedowns before in similar fashion.
But while the audience and Gane were surprised – Ngannou’s former coach and Gane’s current coach Fernand Lopez had an inkling this might happen.
According to a recent interview Cyril Gane did with Sports Illustrated:
“Honestly, I was surprised by that,” Gane says.
“My coach said to be ready, and he made a great game plan because he thought Francis would try to take me down. I dismissed that. It was my biggest mistake.”
“Like I said, I learned from it. It’s going to make me stronger.”
He later added:
“It was a tough fight, and I was disappointed to lose,” Gane says.
“I needed a few months, then I came back to the gym with more motivation and more maturity. That fight added even more experience to my career.”
Ciryl Gane’s performance was overshadowed by a lot of drama surrounding Francis Ngannou’s contract negotiations with UFC prior and after the event with Ngannou’s manager revealing some of UFC’s sabotage tactics.
Now the manager – that was once employed by White shared a stunning text he received on his personal social media account ahead of the event. The text reads:
“Lets see who gets the last word after tonight you dumb black b****h. The fact that Francis would ever listen to you lets you know how much of a dumb piece of s**t he is to. After this you will go back to selling suits at Nordstrom you f*****g moron. ”
Ciryl Gane is only now returning to the cage. He’s scheduled to meet Tai Tuivasa in the main event of UFC Paris for the heavyweight contender spot. Tuivasa is coming off of a KO victory over Derrick Lewis.
This will be the first time UFC has a card in France, for a number of years MMA was illegal in France.