When Ciryl Gane returns to the Octagon, he will headline UFC Fight Night in his home country of France for the first time in his career. On September 3rd the No. 1 ranked UFC heavyweight will face surging contender Tai Tuivasa. Sitting in the No. 3 spot, ‘Bam Bam’ plans to put himself in prime position for a world title opportunity with what would be the biggest win of his career.
Discussing his upcoming bout with James Lynch in a MiddeEasy exclusive, briefly discussed his loss to reigning heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou at UFC 270 and what the Frenchman learned in the process.
“The most thing I learned is, I’m a competitor. I never dreamed about this, to be a champion one day or something like that or just to be a fighter. After Francis, after I lose, I feel it. I feel it and that’s why today, I want to prove I’m going to come back.”
Shifting gears away from his own bout, Ciryl Gane was asked about the welterweight fight that is on everyone’s mind. At UFC 279, fan favorite Nate Diaz will step into the Octagon for what appears to be the final time. There, he will face dangerous contender Khamzat Chimaev.
“It’s gonna be a little bit complicated for Diaz. A little bit because Chimaev is really young. He’s in the rush and he’s really confident and I think Diaz is more at the end of his career so he’s not exactly the same. If you told me they were Diaz from five years ago, six years ago, it’s different. But today, it’s going to be a little bit hard for Diaz. I think Chimaev is gonna finish him unfortunately because I love Diaz.”
Khamzat Chimaev stormed into the UFC in 2020 earning three straight finishes in the second half of the year. His momentum was halted after the Chechnyan-born fighter had an especially difficult bout with COVID-19. Fortunately, Chimaev made a full recovery and returned with a vengeance at UFC 267, defeating Li Jingliang via first-round submission.
After an exciting win over former UFC title challenger Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, Chimaev appears to be one win away from a world title opportunity of his own. Assuming he gets past the always entertaining Stockton native in next month’s massive main event.
Ciryl Gane Believes Kamaru Usman Can Make a Run at Light Heavyweight
Reigning UFC welterweight champion and No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world Kamaru Usman may be looking for a change of scenery. The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ will meet Leon Edwards this Saturday night at UFC 278 for his sixth title defense. Should the king of the welterweights walk about with gold still wrapped around his waist, he may look to conquer another division.
Kamaru Usman has teased the possibility of making a move to light heavyweight and challenging for the 205-pound title. While fighters jumping divisions is fairly routine these days, Usman would be going from the 170-pound welterweight limit to 205 pounds, a significant jump in a sport where size is key. When asked about his thoughts on Usman’s potential jump to light heavyweight, Ciryl Gane said:
“This is a big jump and I’ve never seen Kamaru Usman at this weight, but this is possible. You can have some fighters a little bit short, but strong with good wrestling. This is possible.”
Considering his track record, it would be foolish to believe that Kamaru Usman can’t do anything he sets his mind to, but a 30-pound jump in competition has the MMA community scratching their heads.