UFC heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane is set to take on the fan-favorite knockout artist at UFC 265 for the interim heavyweight title. Gane is currently coming off an impressive five-round decision victory over Alexander Volkov, while Derrick Lewis knocked out Curtis Blaydes in his last UFC appearance.
The interim title fight, when announced, was not met with warm reception. UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou had only won his belt recently. However, the UFC is not an organization often swayed by fans or media's opinions and is going ahead with the matchup.
Despite the controversy, Ciryl Gane vs. Derrick Lewis is still very much a fan-friendly fight. In a recent interview with Maria Morales of LowKick MMA, Gane discussed his route to victory in this heavyweight clash.
"For this fight I'm gonna do perfectly 'Bon Gamin.' I'm gonna move well. I'm gonna touch him and he never touch me. I think I'm gonna do that... I think his weakness is he's a little bit flat footed, and that's good for me. This is really good for me. I think I'm gonna move a lot on my feet and I'm gonna touch him. I'm going in out, in out," said Ciryl Gane.
Ciryl Gane on Derrick Lewis' strengths
While Ciryl Gane has his own gameplan to exploit Derrick Lewis' weaknesses, he is still staying aware of 'The Black Beast's' strengths:
"Everybody knows what is the strength of Derrick Lewis. Everybody knows that. And he knows, he really knows that and that's why he's had some success in his former fights... That's why this guy is really dangerous. I'm gonna be careful of that."
The winner of this fight will naturally be matched up with Francis Ngannou. There is already a pre-existing narrative between Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, with the men being former training partners. Ngannou left the gym after having a fallout with Fernand Lopez, the head coach of Factory X.
Fans are tentatively hoping that a heavyweight title unification bout between Ngannou and Gane could take place in Paris, with France having only recently legalized the sport of MMA.