When it comes to martial arts and combat sports, not many things come before a fighter and his teammates. The team stays with you from your amateur career, right through until your retirement- unless you change camps. However, there are times when a former teammate becomes a great rival, as we’ve witnessed in the past. The heavyweight division now gives us a possibility of witnessing another rival that spawned from the ashes of being teammates.
Ciryl Gane has been incredible in his rise up the heavyweight rankings and is currently scheduled to face Derrik Lewis at UFC 265 for the interim heavyweight title. Gane needs to win to set up an explosive unification bout with Francis Ngannou. If the fight stylistically wasn’t interesting, add the fact they were former teammates. They understand each other and know how to exploit the other’s weaknesses.
Could all of the above be seen as an advantage? Possibly. The intrigue in watching how they handle the pressure of fighting each other grows each day, not discounting Lewis’s chances of spoiling that party. Many fans will want to know whether things will be mellow and respectful or turn into a war. The Heavyweight division hasn’t had a good rivalry in a long time until Daniel Cormier made history and knocked out Stipe Miocic.
Gane himself has no qualms in fighting Ngannou, being quoted saying that he finds comfort in fighting him for the title and that it would be good for everyone involved. MMA Fighting reported last week that Gane is ready to fight for the heavyweight title and that he has no reservations in fighting the champ.
Ciryl Gane vs. Derrick Lewis
Gane faces Lewis at UFC 265 for the interim heavyweight title, just 3 months after Ngannou won the crown. Despite all the negativity surrounding the decision from the UFC to make that interim title bout, the match-up itself between Gane and Lewis is very promising. Lewis is an incredible heavyweight and possesses unbelievable power. Gane would be wary of that, and as the more technical striker, he will grow in confidence if he can take out Lewis.
Lewis is no walk in the park. However, he has faced and beaten the current champ in a 3 round decision. He will come in as the underdog against Gane, but in no way is he overrated. Lewis is tough and will be tested to the limits as Gane is not like any other heavyweights. He possesses incredible head movement, powerful kicks, and sublime submissions in his arsenal.
Unlike many heavyweights before him, Gane is more than just a heavy hitter. He is blessed with incredible technique, and Ngannou is well aware of his talents. Ngannou might be disappointed with the UFC’s decision to host an interim title fight, but it will be a fight that he watches closely as he prepares to make his official title defense. The UFC will definitely want this fight to create a buzz as they lead on to Ngannou’s title defense.
The controversial fight might take a while to generate buzz, but it definitely is an exciting matchup as things finally look interesting in the Heavyweight division again.
How do you think the fight will finish? Let us know in the comments below.
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