Ciryl Gane insists ‘there is no secret’ to his ice-cool mentality under pressure of huge UFC 270 clash… as he explains why he is fearless despite the threat of first defeat against Francis Ngannou
- Ciryl Gane is taking on Francis Ngannou in heavyweight title fight at UFC 270
- Frenchman is the betting favourite despite his relative inexperience at the top
- The composed 31-year-old says their sparring has helped boost his confidence
- Gane wants to push for a maiden UFC card in Paris if he wins on Saturday
Of all the weapons at Ciryl Gane’s disposal, perhaps his icy coolness in the heat of battle is the most impressive.
Much has been made of his light feet, sensational movement and agility for a heavyweight and a fight IQ that belies his inexperience.
But with Francis Ngannou, the UFC’s most feared puncher swinging for his head on Saturday night, he’ll need every ounce of his trademark composure.
Ciryl Gane has been sensational in the UFC and remains undefeated ahead of Saturday’s fight
Some freeze up under the octagon’s spotlights but for others it focuses the mind and body. Gane falls into that category.
The 31-year-old Frenchman is at a loss to explain quite where his mentality comes from but believes it could be down to his late emergence into MMA.
He told Sportsmail: ‘I don’t have the key or a secret (to staying so composed), I started my MMA career not many years ago and before that did not know much about the sport or the UFC.
‘I moved really quickly to big fights, maybe this has helped me manage all the stress around this, all the pressure, maybe that helped me.
‘But I don’t have exactly the secret, I’m just like that since when I was young!’
The Frenchman is completely composed under pressure and deserves his title shot
Gane is a rising star but says there is no secret to his ice-cool mentality under pressure
There are of course many reasons to be fearful of the threat coming his way. Ngannou can render any man unconscious with a single blow, even half a blow.
But fighting power punchers is nothing new to Gane, who impressively negotiated his way past Derrick Lewis last year.
The fact that Ngannou could hand him his first ever professional defeat makes no difference to the challenger, who insists the daily beatings in gym are more than enough to humble him.
He went on: ‘In competition it’s true I don’t have any defeats, but in my gym, I deal a lot with this. I have really good sparring partners, so I know what it is like.’
And he is preparing to expect the unexpected, even anticipating a shock takedown attempt from the champion.
In Francis Ngannou, Gane knows he has a deadly opponent who can strike at any moment
The heavyweight interim champion is not afraid to taste defeat for the first time
‘Yes, this is really a possibility, everything is possible,’ he explained.
‘I don’t know exactly what he is going to do but I can see Francis trying to catch me and take me down, we are ready for that.’
Much of the build-up to Saturday’s fight has been surrounding Ngannou’s ongoing contract dispute with the UFC and his desire for a cross-over boxing match against Tyson Fury.
For all the talk, Gane is sure his rival is not taking his eye off the prize in front of him and expects a laser-focused opponent across the cage from him this weekend.
‘Going into boxing is a smart move,’ he went on. ‘Everybody knows you have more money in this game for a long time.
‘I think he is a smart guy, talking about the future but he is focused on the present and he knows he has a challenge with me, he is taking me seriously.’
The UFC could have a new heavyweight champion on Sunday if Gane executes his plan