UFC heavyweight title challenger Ciryl Gane shared his opinion on Jon Jones. Gane said that he is happy to be the first athlete to welcome Jones to the heavyweight division.
UFC president Dana White recently announced that they have released heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. During UFC Vegas 67 presser, White revealed Ngannou was freed from his contract after rejecting an offer that would have made him the highest-paid heavyweight of all time.
Ngannou was previously in the works to face former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who will be moving up to the heavyweight division on his return this year. Due to Ngannou leaving, Jones will face number one contender Ciryl Gane instead.
Gane has competed 12 times in his professional career with only one loss against Francis Ngannou in January last year. Compared to Jones who has way more experience in the field, this match might be Gane’s hardest challenge. But, the 32-year-old French is more than happy to face someone who was his inspiration.
“I’m really happy to be the first guy in this division fighting with Jon Jones. He’s a great athlete.” Gane said after UFC Vegas 67.
“He is going to stay well-rounded. I don’t think he’s going to prove something. I think he just wants to win his fight against me, and I don’t know what is a good way to win against me.”
Gane also addressed fans’ speculation regarding his ground game compared to Jones’. Especially after he showed lack of wrestling against Ngannou last year.
“Of course, some people like to say my wrestling game is not good because of the fight with Francis, but this is not the case. I was not focused on just that. I’m well-rounded, too. I can imagine a fight where we’re going to stay on the feet and maybe we’re going to try some time to go down.” Gane said.
Jones and Gane will compete at UFC 285 in March at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Many consider Jon Jones as one of the greatest MMA athletes of all time. The 35-year-old cleared the light heavyweight division and defended the title multiple times. However, his huge drawback is that he got popped multiple times.