This day couldn’t be described as the today Francis Ngannou shocked the world.
Ngannou switched from a heavy hitter to a heavy-grappler in the UFC heavyweight championship unification fight with Ciryl Gane, lifting his former teammate, both feets off the ground and showing some good Jiu Jitsu display to retain his heavyweight title on Saturday night, 22 January at the Honda Centre In Anaheim California.
Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) picked up a unanimous decision victory over the formerly unbeaten Gane (10-1, 7-1 UFC) after five rounds of technical striking and good ground work, carting home a (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) from the judges scorecards. The fight served as the Main Event of UFC 270.
Ngannou and Game have both shared everything including their coach Fernand Lopez, who has always been in Ngannou’s corner but this time, he was in Gane’s corner and that served well as a good UFC build up but the anticipated was nothing compared to the reality.
Gane was quick to attack Ngannou pressuring him to the Cage and looked to exert his presence on the champion. Ngannou tried using his explosion power on Game but the interim champ was evasive enough to avoid the power shots and the more he did the more tired he became. More grabbing and clinching concluded the first round. Ngannou looked tired walking to his stool.
Ngannou kept coming forward in round two but Gabe brought the real technicality to the picture, jumping around Ngannou and connecting technical strikes on the champion both to the head and body. This gradually slowed down the champion, who was also at the end of another spinning kick.
Round 3 was different as the champion grabbed Gane and slammed his former teammate on the canvas, signalling the beginning of his dominance. Ngannou became a Jiu Jitsu specialists, switching positions in search of a submission but Game was able to evade them and returned to his feets. The Champion then shot for a double-leg takedown before the end of the round.
More grappling continued in round four, as the champion saw that as a loop hole in Gane’s game. Ngannou took game down two times more in this round and controlled the fight from the canvas, though not doing much with his opportunities on the canvas.
The final round, Game scored a takedown of his own but Ngannou swept him off and controlled the ground game. Both then engaged in a 50-50 leg lock battle on the canvas but Ngannou ended up on top but unable to secure a submission.
Ngannou’s victory is his sixth straight and that also includes victories over former champions former UFC heavyweight champions Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic, a multi time champion whom he defeated back at UFC 260 to win the Heavyweight title.
Ngannou’s fight with gane is the final fight on his contract with the UFC but could still be involved using the Champions Clause on his contract but that being said, his contract expires in January 2023 and that will see him go into free agency, if it isn’t renewed.
Gane remains in the mix despite the loss but will have to defeat a few contenders before he gets another chance. However, it’s a big achievement for a fighter who only began his career in 2018. He shot up the ranks with impressive display and victories over Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov.
Fight Photos From Francis Ngannou Vs Ciryl Gane UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification